Medicine: Death in Brazil

As spring approached and temperatures rose last week in southern Brazil, medical authorities cautiously expressed hope that the country's, and perhaps the hemisphere's, worst meningitis epidemic in history might be abating. But in the São Paulo area, where the disease has struck hardest, the death rate was still high. Estimates of the total number of cases there rose to 20,000 and deaths to as many as 3,000, but firm figures were unobtainable, partly because of censorship. In Porto Alegre, and in communities as far north as the Amazon, the disease was still on the increase.

Meningitis—inflammation of the parchment-like covering of the...

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