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Angola’s worst outbreak in three decades has experts worried as far away as China

WHEN ANGOLAN JOURNALIST and human rights activist Rafael Marques de Morais visited a morgue in the city of Luanda in March, he saw 235 bodies being carried out in five hours. The crowded Angolan capital, chaotic at the best of times, was in the throes of a massive outbreak of yellow fever and malaria, and by Marques’s account, it was hard to say who was dying of what. “People died of one disease, and [hospital staff] would write down another,” he says.

Angola has been grappling with its worst yellow fever outbreak in three decades, a crisis that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned “constitutes a potential threat for the entire world.” The big fear is it could spread to China, which has been free of the virus, if Chinese workers return home sick, and supply of the vaccine is already under pressure.

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