Coronavirus outbreak could devastate remote indigenous communities
Experts are warning that the coronavirus outbreak could devastate remote indigenous communities around the world.
Ana Magdalena Hurtado, a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, addressed the potential impact of COVID-19 on these tribes. Her comments to NBC News draw on decades of human ecology, culture and epidemiology research conducted among Aché and Hiwi hunter-gatherers and Machiguenga trekkers of Latin America.
"In the remote forests of Paraguay throughout much of the 1970s, bands of hunter-gatherers known as the Northern Aché made their first contacts with the outside world. Within two years of those contact events, 38% of the known population had perished from respiratory diseases contracted from outsiders, says (Hurtado), a professor of global health, human origins and evolutionary public health at Arizona State University. Over the past four decades, she has spent long periods of time with indigenous groups in Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and Panama, examining mortality rates and immune systems.
‘There's a long history in Latin America, in indigenous groups, of being decimated by respiratory epidemics,’ Hurtado says.”
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