Thousands Die of Mystery Illness; Work-Related Dehydration Suspected
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
(photo-New Haven: León Sister City Project)
Thousands of workers in Central America are dying from kidney disease that has turned into an epidemic, according to health experts.
More than 24,000 people in El Salvador and Nicaragua have died since 2000 from kidney failure, which usually occurs in patients with diabetes and high-blood pressure. But the patients for the most part don’t suffer from these disorders.
Some people have blamed the problem on the agricultural chemicals used on sugar cane plantations, where many of the victims have worked. But many others have toiled in mines and other manual labor occupations, leading others to speculate that repeated bouts of extreme dehydration are causing the workers’ kidneys to shut down.
While the majority of the cases have been identified in Nicaragua and El Salvador, the condition has appeared as far south as Panama and as far north as Mexico.
To Learn More:
Mystery Disease Kills Thousands In Central America (by Filadelfo Aleman and Michael Weissenstein, Associated Press)
Thousands of Sugar Cane Workers Die as Wealthy Nations Stall on Solutions (by Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene, iWatch News)
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