• The Star Staff

Slowing the Coronavirus is speeding the spread of other diseases


By Jan Hoffman and Ruth Maclean


As poor countries around the world struggle to beat back the coronavirus, they are unintentionally contributing to fresh explosions of illness and death from other diseases — ones that are readily prevented by vaccines.


This spring, after the World Health Organization and UNICEF warned that the pandemic could spread swiftly when children gathered for shots, many countries suspended their inoculation programs. Even in countries that tried to keep them going, cargo flights with vaccine supplies were halted by the pandemic and health workers diverted to fight it.


Now, diphtheria is appearing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.


Cholera is in South Sudan, Cameroon, Mozambique, Yemen and Bangladesh.


A mutated strain of poliovirus has been reported in more than 30 countries.


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