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PLOS Blog Examines Mystery Disease Killing Young Men In Central America

Writing in the PLOS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Peter Hotez and his colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine highlight the mystery of Mesoamerican nephropathy, “an emerging form of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology that disproportionately strikes young male agricultural workers primarily in the Pacific coastal regions of El Salvador and Nicaragua, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica. … Some investigators believe that Mesoamerican nephropathy is now the leading killer of young male sugarcane workers in Nicaragua and possibly El Salvador.” The authors suggest “there is an urgent need to mobilize financial and other resources to urgently address this deadly and frightening new illness” (1/23).