COVID-19 in a Time of El Niño and Ecosyndemic Vulnerability: Insights
from Latin America
Latin America has emerged as an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador report some of the highest COVID-19 rates.
These countries also face dual threats from development challenges and
El Niño, which impact local disease ecologies. A country like Peru,
e.g., which is highly sensitive to El Niño, already copes with an
ecosyndemic burden, i.e., co-occurring multiple infectious diseases,
which heighten during climate extreme events. In this commentary, we
highlight the importance of El Niño as a major factor that not only may
aggravate COVID-19 incidence, but also the broader health problem of
ecosyndemics in Latin America.