These small bugs cause BIG problems
| Mexican insect’s bite can lead to heart disease
| “The parasite can hide in the body for decades.”
Dr. Aditi Vyas, ABC News – Chagas disease is usually spread to humans via triatomine bugs that can spread the parasitic infection. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
“It is estimated that as many as 8 million people in Mexico, Central America, and South America have Chagas disease, most of whom do not know they are infected. If untreated, infection is lifelong and can be life-threatening.” – CDC
A rare parasitic disease that can lead to heart failure or stroke may be more common in the United States than many medical providers realize, with an estimated 300,000 people affected.
Chagas disease is spread by an insect known as the kissing bug.
An estimated 8 million people in Central and South America are infected, but the disease has also been reported in several American states — Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Arizona, and Massachusetts.
“People who have Chagas disease can be found anywhere in the world. However, vector-borne transmission is confined to the Americas, principally rural areas in parts of Mexico.” – CDC
Most people infected will not develop any signs or symptoms, but about 30 percent of those with the parasite can become chronically ill. The American Heart Association in a new report urges physicians in the U.S. to be aware of the possibility that their patients carry this potentially dangerous infection.
What is Chagas disease?
Chagas disease is an infectious disease caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite spreads to people and animals via the Triatomine bug, an insect that carries the parasite in its feces. It is also known as the kissing bug because it tends to bite humans around the mouth or eyes, usually at night. Parasites enter then make their way in through the bite, rub or scratch.
“Chagas disease is an inflammatory, infectious disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is found in the feces of the triatomine (reduviid) bug. Chagas disease is common in South America, Central America, and Mexico, the primary home of the triatomine bug.” – Mayo Clinic
The disease is most common in Central and South America, but it has also been diagnosed in people in the U.S., Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan.
In the U.S., the disease has mostly been reported in southern states but also in Massachusetts. Most people in the U.S. with the disease were likely infected before arriving in the country, according to the American Heart Association.
The parasite can hide in the body for decades … Read more at ABC News.
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