Resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases in Venezuela as a regional public health threat in the Americas

Alberto E. Paniz-Mondolfi, Adriana Tami, Maria E. Grillet, Marilianna Márquez, Juan Hernández-Villena, María A. Escalona-Rodríguez, Gabriela M. Blohm, Isis Mejías, Huníades Urbina-Medina, Alejandro Rísquez, Julio Castro, Ana Carvajal, Carlos Walter, María G. López, Philipp Schwabl, Luis Hernández-Castro, Michael A. Miles, Peter J. Hotez, John Lednicky, J. Glenn MorrisJames Crainey, Sergio Luz, Juan D. Ramírez, Emilia Sordillo, Martin Llewellyn, Merari Canache, María Araque, José Oletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Venezuela’s tumbling economy and authoritarian rule have precipitated an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Hyperinflation rates now exceed 45,000%, and Venezuela’s health system is in free fall. The country is experiencing a massive exodus of biomedical scientists and qualified healthcare professionals. Reemergence of arthropod-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases has sparked serious epidemics that also affect neighboring countries. In this article, we discuss the ongoing epidemics of measles and diphtheria in Venezuela and their disproportionate impact on indigenous populations. We also discuss the potential for reemergence of poliomyelitis and conclude that action to halt the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases within Venezuela is a matter of urgency for the country and the region. We further provide specific recommendations for addressing this crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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