Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Possible Rabies Outbreak in Venezuela's Warao People Being Ignored by Government

A recent article the The Daily Californian describes the efforts by U.C. Berkley professors Charles Briggs and his wife Clara Martini-Briggs to help the Warao people of Venezuela (also Guyana and Suriname) deal with a mysterious outbreak of disease that has already killed over 30 people.

The Briggs believe that the disease, which works quickly and definitively, could be rabies. The Venezuelan government in Caracas has investigated the situation and denies that rabies exists anywhere in Venezuela. Regardless of the nature or origin of the disease, the fact is that simple health measures such as mosquito netting and access to better supplies and sanitation are desperately needed in the Orinoco region, something the government has yet to supply.

There's also a BBC article on the same subject from a few weeks ago.

Good luck to the Briggs and the Warao in their struggle.

Note: The Daily Californian article inexplicably refers to the Warao as the Marao. I've never seen it spelled that way.

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