Geneva — Malaria is spreading rapidly in crisis-hit Venezuela, with more than 406,000 cases in 2017, up about 69% on the previous year — the largest increase worldwide, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday. Venezuelan migrants fleeing the economic and social crisis are carrying the mosquito-borne disease into Brazil and other parts of Latin America, the UN agency said, urging authorities to provide free screening and treatment regardless of their legal status to avoid further spread. "It’s in the Americas, it’s not just Venezuela. We’re actually reporting increases in a number of other countries. Venezuela, yes this is a significant concern, malaria is increasing and it’s increasing in a very worrying way," Pedro Alonso, director of WHO’s global malaria programme, told a news briefing. Venezuela is slipping into hyperinflation, with shortages of food and medicines during a fifth year of recession that President Nicolas Maduro’s government blames on Western hostility a...

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