- 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
- By Thiago Reis
- Folha online, Brazil (in Portuguese, trans. & sum.
- 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
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health