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Hideous Chagas Disease Now
Transmitted By Food

From Patricia Doyle, PhDper
Hello Jeff -  Chagas Disease is an horrific illness and we need to do all in our power to prevent it from becoming endemic in the US. Illegals are bringing it into our
country and there is no stopping it so far. Go to this page and you can see a photo of the swollen eye of a Chagas Disease victim. 
By Thiago Reis
Folha online, Brazil (in Portuguese, trans. & sum. Mod.JW, edited)
In the last 15 months, 15 outbreaks of Chagas' disease (CD) have been recorded in the northern Brazilian states of Para, Amazonas, and Amapa. This month [August 2007], there have been outbreaks in Breves and Abaetetuba (Para), totaling 15 cases including one suspected death.
Just one year ago PAHO [the Pan American Health Organization] certified Brazil free of CD transmission by the insect that lives in holes in the walls of mud-and-wattle houses.
Since June 2006, 116 people have caught the disease after drinking fruit juices typical of the region, mainly those made from the berries of the acai and bacaba palms, in which the vector had been accidentally ground up. According to the Evandro Chagas Institute [in Belem, Para], an average of only 12 cases of CD a year had been attributed to oral infection between 1968 and 2005. Aldo Valente, chief of parasitology at the Institute, reports that for every case of CD reported there are at least 20 unrecorded.
CD is caused by the protozoan parasite _Trypanosoma cruzi_, transmitted by a triatome insect [known as the "kissing bug" - Mod.JW]. Symptoms are fever, malaise, headache, and pain in the joints, swollen eyes, liver and spleen, and cardiac changes.
In 2006, 3 other outbreaks of oral transmission, totaling 21 cases, were recorded in the northeast of the country.
Communicated by
Lista de adversidades em saude (LISAS)
Hopefully the commercially produced acai (pronounced "asa'i") juice, that is now all the rage in the USA, and can also be found in health food shops and those that cater to local Brazilian communities in the UK, is being produced under more hygienic conditions.
An image of a CD victim can be seen at
A triatome bug is shown at
The life cycle is shown in
A map of the endemic region is available at
. - Mod.JW
ProMED-mail reported extensively on the outbreak of foodborne Chagas disease in Santa Catarina and Amapa in 2005. The source in Santa Catarina was sugarcane juice and in Amapa "acai." The new reports show that foodborne Chagas disease is a present problem.
Chagas disease is a zoonosis with a reservoir in wild life and the vector the triatomid bug also present. Foodborne infection can only be controlled by hygienic measures making sure that fruits contaminated with triatomid bug feces are not used for human consumption. - Mod.EP
The Brazilian Amazon (Amazonia) covers the entire northern section of Brazil (states of Amazonas, Para, Rondonia, Tocantins, Acre, Amapa, and Roraima), plus the northern and southwestern parts of Mato Grosso State (Midwest), and half of Maranhao State in the northeast. The Para, Amazonas, and Amapa states can be located on the map of Brazil available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/americas/brazil.jpg . - CopyEd.MJ]
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
Univ of West Indies
Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at:
Also my new website:
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health


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