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Illegal Mexicans Bring
Deadly Chagas To US Horses

By Patricia Doyle

Hello Jeff - I cannot stress the danger of taking illegals and immigrants from areas with diseases like Chagas.  We know that dogs have been showing up at Texas vets offices with Chagas, now we have Equine Chagas.  This should come as no surprise as many of the grooms and care takers of horses in the US are cared for by illegals from Mexico, Central America and other Chags infected areas.

How long until we hear about Americans born in the US and never traveling outside the US coming down with Chagas.  Remember, Chagas can have as long as 20 to 40 years incubation before gastrointestinal and or heart damage shows up.

There is more of a risk in the US for these type of diseases than there is even a terror threat.  Illegals are like bio-bombs coming over the border and we must stop it NOW!

Maybe now those who think our outcry about illegals bringing diseases to the US is racism may think twice.

It has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with Infected Illegals coming over the border infected with Chagas and TB, etc.

Look closely at who are the quarter horse industries grooms and equine care takers.  Illegals from Mexico and Central America.  This is the population who came illegally and are working with horses.  What happens is the infected person gets bit by an American Triatoma bug aka kissing bug?  That bug then bites a horse or dog or human and guess what, passes the Chagas infection onto the dog, horse or human. and so forth and so on.  

When dogs got bitten and Chagas spreads into our pet dog population as well as wild wolf, coyote or fox and deer populations, the disease then is in a wide reservoir and provides kissing bugs with more Chagas blood meals.

I think this revelation of Chagas in a thoroughbred quarter horse can portend a threat to the equine thoroughbred industry. Those of us in  the horse business could be very adversely infected.  Then there is human to kissing bug to kkissing bug to dog, horse and other human infections spreading as far and wise in America as are the vector, kissing bugs.


First US Case Of Equine Chagas Disease

A protozoal infection previously seen only in Mexico, South America and Central America has been detected in a horse in Texas.

By Mick McCluskey, BVSc, MACVSc, Christine Barakat

Chagas disease, a protozoal infection mainly affecting people and dogs in Mexico, South America and Central America, has been detected in a horse in Texas. Although canine cases of Chagas disease had previously been reported in southern Texas, this is the first known case of clinical infection in an American horse.

    Caused by the organism Trypanosoma cruzi and spread by the feces of insects commonly called “kissing bugs,” Chagas disease may initially produce an array of vague signs, including headache, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. After the acute stage of infection, the disease enters a chronic phase. Months, years or even decades after the initial infection, about 20 percent of humans and dogs with chronic Chagas disease develop digestive problems, neurological impairment or heart failure.

    In the Texas Chagas case, the 10-year-old Quarter Horse had weakness and lameness in his hind limbs for six months. He had been treated for equine0 protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) before being referred to the Texas A&M University Large Animal Hospital. When his condition deteriorated, he was euthanatized and a necropsy revealed evidence of T. cruzi in his spinal cord. Genetic testing confirmed the identification, while other tissue tests ruled out other possible causes of neurological deficits, including EPM. No evidence of the parasite was found in the horse’s heart.

    The researchers concluded that the horse had contracted Chagas disease, making this the first equine case of the condition to have been confirmed with pathological evidence. They say that Chagas disease “should be considered as a differential diagnosis in horses with neurologic clinical signs and histologic evidence of meningomyelitis that originate in areas where Chagas disease is present.” They also call for further study of the prevalence and life cycle of T. cruzi in horses.

Reference: “Chagas disease in a Texan horse with neurologic deficits,” Veterinary Parasitology, January 2016

This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #463, April 2016.


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