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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Forced Migration and the Spread of Infectious Diseases

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We examine the role of Venezuelan forced migration on the propagation of 15 infectious diseases in Colombia. For this purpose, we use rich municipal-monthly panel data. We exploit the fact that municipalities closer to the main migration entry points have a disproportionateexposure to infected migrants when the cumulative migration flows increase. We find that higher refugee inflows are associated with increments in the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as chickenpox and tuberculosis, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, includingAIDS and syphilis. However, we find no significant effects of migration on the propagation of vector-borne diseases.

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