There have been increasing reports of COVID-19 deaths in Latin America. The virus has circulated between North and South America, causing death among some babies. The name Latin America refers to the large area in the Americas where these deadly viruses circulate. More recently, it has spread to include Caribbean countries and parts of Africa. However, Latin America is not the only continent affected by this deadly disease.
There are several other regions in the world where this disease has affected human populations. In Central America, there have been an estimated five hundred thousand deaths from the pandemic. Most of the deaths have come from the crowded South American countries of Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala. In Latin America, the largest number of reported fatalities came from Brazil.
WHO Report – COVID-19 deaths in Latin America
According to the World Health Organization, a whopping twenty-two million people have died due to the recent outbreak of the Chinese pandemic. This includes more than one million deaths from the Spanish flu pandemic. While this was the highest number of recorded fatalities due to any tropical heatwave; with over seven hundred thousand deaths, it also represents one of the highest numbers of reported COVID-19 deaths per capita.
Like the Chinese and Spanish flu, the recent pandemic appears to have originated in Mexico. It began near the beginning of the thirteenth century; and spread rapidly to the rest of the region over the following two centuries. The initial phase of the epidemic lasted for about six months; which corresponded with a period of marked economic growth in Mexico. At the same time, the Mexican government and media reported high rates of personal poverty as a result of the economic boom. While these statements appeared to support the notion that the pandemic had caused primarily by the poor economic situation; and the desire for necessities, there were indications that something else was at work.
On the morning of the thirteenth anniversary of the first outbreak; the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the latest outbreak was over. This announcement was quickly followed by an announcement by the Ministry of Health of the entire Gulf Coast region; which was running a similar COVID-19 program. With this announcement, the media reported that more than six hundred thousand people had been treated. However, by the end of the month, the figure had risen to nearly eight hundred thousand. By this time, the Gulf Coast region of the United States was the most seriously affected by the new Chinese pandemic; with more than three hundred and twenty-five cases being reported. The figure for the entire United States was now nearing one hundred and seventy-nine cases.
COVID-19 deaths in Latin America
The first week of July indicated that the numbers of fatalities in Latin America had increased; despite the widespread publicity of the previous month’s announcement of the new pandemic. On the first day of July, President Carlos Mencia of Brazil made an official visit to the Ministry of Health in Rio de Janeiro to deliver a speech on combating the spread of the flu. According to press accounts, he announced that a total of six million people had contracted cholera during the previous month. Also on the first day of July, the Ministry of Health of Honduras released figures stating that one million of the country’s forty-two million inhabitants had contracted cholera during the previous year. In both of these statements, the government emphasized the importance of implementing measures that would halt the increase in fatalities. COVID-19 deaths in Latin America.
With these alarming statistics, it is easy to see why so many people were concerned; when I mentioned the possibility of a new outbreak of plague or some other deadly disease in Latin America. The daily deaths in Latin America were troubling and it is comforting to know that there are health professionals and countries in the region capable of stopping these high mortality rates. Unfortunately, as frightening as it may be, the reality is that there is little the western world can do to stop the daily deaths in Latin America. This is because Mexico, like the rest of the world, is home to illegal drug users and has porous borders. The drug trade remains a major cause of death in Latin America and the solution to this problem remains to fight the demand, not supply.
This week marks the twenty-third year of the battle against the deaths from epidemics in Latin America and megalomania, or accumulated cancer cases has been the primary cause of death over this period. It is difficult to imagine a solution other than to address the root causes of the problem, which is the demand for illegal drugs in the countries of origin. To eliminate the plague of Latin America’s deaths from megalomania or the overwhelming majority of deaths caused by preventable causes, the only answer seems to be investing in preventing the problem in the first place. In the case of Latin America, this means more emphasis on drug testing at random.
With the highest death toll from any disease in Latin America and the largest outstanding burden of cancer in the western hemisphere, it is simply untenable to accept the current rates of death and try to stop the epidemic.
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