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Chagas Disease Now
Widely Prevalent US...Ignored

From Patricia Doyle, PhD


Hello Jeff - It is painfully obvious that our government is not going to stop illegal immigration and is rather, going to make it easier for illegals to enter the US.  Of course, no health exams will be required  so, we can expect to see an increase in nonendemic diseases such as Leprosy, Chagas, TB, and as we are seeing Malaria.

 Chagas is now being acquired in the US by Americans with no history of travel abroad.  As long as our government is not listening to its citizens and as long as our government will continue to allow open immigration we need to inform our citizens and our doctors about this disease.  It was our very sharp veterinarians who picked up on the infection of Chagas in dogs in Texas.

 All we can do now is to spread the word of these diseases and hope that those who do contract them will have early diagnosis.


 Chagas Disease Widely Prevalent in North America, Yet Ignored

 The Chagas disease is one of the most wide-spread illnesses in North America, yet the syndrome has not gained enough attention over time.

 Chagas is a parasitic disease transmitted by triatomine insects or 'the kissing bugs' called, Trypanosoma Cruzi while they suck into human bodies or mammals. The disease can be transmitted through blood transfusion and unhygienic food habits. The disease can also be passed on to the fetus through the mother.  Around 40, 000 thousand women are detected with the disease every year resulting in 2,000 fetuses affected by the disease.

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 Chagas is reportedly one of the primary reasons that has lead to maximum number of fatal heart disease cases in recent times. The disease also results in extreme liver and intestinal complications.

 According to some pre estimates, the United States ranks seventh with a huge number of Chagas disease cases reported every year. The findings are based on a recent article published on PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

 In the U.S. there are nearly around 30,000 patients suffering from Chagas in Texas alone and more than a million cases reported nationwide. North America, where the disease is wide spread, accounts for the highest number of cases, (seven million) out five million residents, according to the article.

 The disease is most prevalent among poverty stricken communities in America. Lack of government intervention has resulted in improper medical diagnosis and adequate medication required to cure the condition.

 Poor people are more susceptible to the malady due to their impoverished lifestyle, education and vector control.

  According to medical practitioners, much initiative is required from the U.S. government to prevent the disease.

 "The research community is pushing science as hard as possible to ensure we get new treatments to people living with Chagas disease, but we need to ensure that governments prioritize the disease," said Dr. Bernard Pecoul, the executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in a statement, reports Science Daily."It is urgent to diagnose and treat patients with what we have available today, until research and development efforts deliver true breakthroughs for the millions in need."

 At present there are two treatments available for the disease but neither of them is advisable for pregnant women.  The long gap of surveillance needs to be taken care of immediately with prompt diagnosis and adequate medical facilities to bring the epidemic under control.



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