Venezuela faces ‘worst-case scenario’ as Zika outbreak expands

In the crowded waiting room of the Vargas de Caracas hospital, the walls are decorated with peppy pro-government slogans: “It’s only possible with socialism.”

But the Zika epidemic has struck as the socialist-ruled country is spiraling into economic chaos and the public health system has been stripped of many basic tools of modern medicine. Hospital patients get wheeled past closets overflowing with trash. Stray dogs wander the hospital grounds. Doctors perform surgery without sutures and gauze.

“Little by little, medical care is disappearing,” one doctor said.

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