In addition to the Enterovirus and the Ebola virus crossing the US border, Americans now must concern themselves with a deadly disease infecting 300,000 plus unsuspecting persons, i.e., Chagas disease aka the Kissing Bug aka “the new AIDS” aka American trypanosomiasis (pictured above).
Doctors lacking knowledge of this disease are not testing for Chagas, which can be fatal if not caught in time.
Researchers who gathered on Tuesday at the annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans said that if caught early the disease can be cured however sometimes the disease can be asymptomatic and there is a dearth in medication for the condition.
The CDC reports that the initial symptoms of the disease caused by a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, which is spread through the feces of kissing bugs includes fever, fatigue, body aches, rash, diarrhea and vomiting. One of the first visual signs can be a skin lesion or a purplish swelling of the lid of one eye.
The disease can develop in the body causing eventual heart failure and other deadly complications that by the time they are realized cannot be helped with medicine.
‘We were astonished to not only find such a high rate of individuals testing positive for Chagas in their blood, but also high rates of heart disease that appear to be Chagas-related,’ said Nolan Garcia, an epidemiologist at the Baylor College of Medicine….
Most of those infected with Chagas traveled from Central America, South America and Mexico crossing the border to the United States, a fact of which we do not need the CDC to tell us.
As with the treatment of the Ebola virus, the FDA has not approved, nifurtimox and benznidazole medications currently used to treat Chagas.
According to Fox News, Latino:
U.S. Medical research…suggests that 40,000 pregnant North American women may be infected with the disease at any given time, resulting in 2,000 congenital cases through mother-to-child transmission.
‘It’s not something that we think of asking right away,’ Julie-Ann Crewalk, a pediatrician who has handled Chagas cases, told The Atlantic. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers were higher and we’re just not seeing it.’
The U.S. is not the only country seeing new cases. Spain is now grappling with a rise in Changa cases because 80,000 migrants from Latin America are living with the illness, according to the BBC….
Image source: Journal of Young Investigators