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El Nino Being Blamed For Illness, 14 Deaths

Unsanitary conditions blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon have hastened the spread of a fever that has killed 14 people in Peru this year, health officials said Monday.

The illness, which doctors believe may be caused by a virus, has spread along Peru’s northern coast, where torrential rains attributed to El Nino have flooded shantytowns and disrupted water supplies.

Health officials say the resulting destruction and pooled water provide fertile ground for insect breeding and the spread of disease.

The 14 children and adults who have died from the fever lived in the cities of Talara, Trujillo and Chimbote.