Chagas Disease

Chagas Disease

News: The World Health Organisation (WHO) observes World Chagas Disease Day on every April 14th to raise awareness about the little-known disease.

 Chagas disease, also known as 'silent or silenced disease', is a communicable parasitic disease that infects 6-7 million people and claims around 12,000 lives every year worldwide, according to WHO.
 It is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, transmitted by a family of bugs called ‘triatomines’ or ‘kissing bugs’ that infect healthy individuals through bites or defecation.
 It can also be contracted through congenital transmission, blood transfusions, organ transplantation, consumption of uncooked food contaminated with fecal matter of infected bugs, or accidental laboratory exposure.
 Chagas is currently endemic in 21 countries in the Americas

What are the symptoms?
 Fever, headaches, rashes, inflammatory nodules, nausea or diarrhea, and muscle or abdominal pain.

Are there any vaccines available?
 Currently there are no vaccines available for Chagas disease
 However, antiparasitic medicines Benznidazole and Nifurtimox can treat the disease. They have a 100% efficacy rate if administered at the onset of the acute stage.

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