What’s making the people of the Peruvian Amazon sick? Duke University researchers are seeking answers with a survey of 5,000 people that is testing for malaria, dengue, TB, diabetes and hypertension.
A major concern: The recent surge in illegal gold mining that has ripped up forest and sluiced mercury into rivers and fish—a major food source in the region. With little hard data on health, it’s difficult to know how much the mining is affecting health, writes NPR’s ace global health reporter Jason Beaubien.
Local health district head Fernando Medieta is less worried about mercury than he is about malnutrition in children, water and mosquito-borne diseases, and rising rates of diabetes and hypertension.
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