Monkeypox in Latin America
Endemic to West and Central Africa, monkeypox has spread across the globe in recent months. In late May, Argentina confirmed Latin America’s first two cases, adding reason to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to declare the virus a global health emergency on July 23. Cases of the virus have now been confirmed and/or suspected in several other countries in the hemisphere, including nearly all countries in South America (excluding only Guyana and Suriname). Despite the sudden spread of monkeypox, governments in the region have reportedly been slow to respond and develop dedicated policies to address the virus, as noted in a new Reuters profile on Mexico and Brazil’s responses. Alongside Peru, they are the top three countries in the region with the highest number of cases, with a total of just over 1,300 infections between the three countries (nearly 1,000 of which are in Brazil).
As with COVID, there is concern that monkeypox vaccines will not be distributed quickly and equitably across the world, leaving Latin America and other regions in the Global South disproportionately impacted by the virus. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also found that there is a “gap in scientific production on monkeypox in Latin America, compared to the world.” (Reuters, The Lancet, Reuters, Foreign Affairs, NIH, CDC)
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St. Kitts & Nevis
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