Plague meets pestilence - Front Page Live

Plague meets pestilence

  • 03/23/2020 3:27 pm ET Molly Taft
Plague meets pestilence

Source: Unsplash

Several East African countries are facing dual plagues as the coronavirus crisis reaches their borders and they continue to deal with one of the worst outbreaks of desert locusts in years.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization said last week the “unprecedented” locust disaster in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, spurred after heavy cyclone rains made 2019 one of the region’s wettest years on record, is “extremely alarming” and poses the threat of massive food insecurity for millions of people.

The decline of tourism in the area is already affecting local economies, while restrictions on flights due to the virus means that the cost of shipping pesticides has skyrocketed. Cyclones are often the originators of swarms — the extreme rainfall creates perfect breeding conditions — and in the past 10 years, there’s been an increase in the frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

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