Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type



Public Health

Director of Thesis

Dr. Myriam Torres

First Reader

Dr. David Simmons

Second Reader

Dr. David Simmons


This paper seeks to analyze the relationship between political and social unrest and conflict and infectious disease epidemiology in Latin America. An analysis of published literature regarding epidemiological, biomedical, political, and historical content was conducted to highlight potential connections between infectious disease epidemics and sociopolitical conflict in the region. Specific analyses of Smallpox, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, Chagas disease, Cholera, Dengue, and COVID-19 were conducted, in an effort to uncover potential causations and context of epidemics of these conditions. Results of this analysis depict a necessity for further research into public health and disease control mechanisms during times of conflict and can provide valuable insight into the effects of political and social unrest on infectious disease epidemiology for further prevention and mitigation strategies. In summary, the negative effects of sociopolitical violence and unrest are well accounted for, yet do not take into account the economic and medical impacts had on human lives, citing the need for further research and prevention strategies.

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© 2022, Sarah H. Noonan