Epidemiology: The Chagas Disease

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Chagas disease is found in most of Mexico, Southern United States, Central America, and South America. Impoverished areas are more at risk because the triatomine bug blooms in poor housing conditions. Mud, cracks, rocky structures, rodent nests, wood, under porches, and in dog houses are where triatomine bugs are most commonly found. Due to public health efforts to prevent transmission, the number of newly infected people has decreased over the past few years.

Chagas Disease

Principles of Microbiology
Fall 2015

Table of Contents

History 1
Cause 2 Life Cycle 2
Symptoms 3
Diagnosis 4
Treatments 5
Epidemiology...……………………... 6
Prevention & Control……..............7
Triatomine Bug Life Stages……...8
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However, it has been around for over 9,000 years. It has been discovered in mummy remains from the ancient Chinchorro culture in South America. The disease is only found in the Americas. Less fortunate communities such as rural areas of Latin America are the most affected. The Chagas disease is one of the neglected parasitic infections (NPI) of the United States. The CDC targets neglected parasitic infections, a group of only 5 parasitic diseases, for public health action. The Chagas disease is also referred to as American Trypanosomiasis.

4 1
Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypansoma cruzi. Triatomine bugs, a type of reduviid bug or “Kissing Bug”, carry the parasite. Most commonly, a person is infected at night when the triatomine bug takes a blood meal near the lips. The bite, however, is not the cause of the infection. While the bug is feeding, feces are dropped near the bite wound. The parasite, T. cruzi, then enters the body. It then multiplies within the cells of the body until the cells burst and release the parasites into the blood stream. Other ways it can be spread:
• Blood transfusion from an infected person.
• Mother to baby
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