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Global Health Snapshot - Neglected Tropical Diseases

Global Health Snapshot: Neglected Tropical Diseases

Chagas Disease

Chagas DiseaseA life-threatening illness caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and transmitted by the feces of the blood-sucking triatomine, known as the “kissing bug.”

Symptoms: Fever, headache and muscle pain; also can be asymptomatic in acute phase. In latent phase, parasites hide in heart and other cells, often leading to cardiac arrest and premature death.

Treatment: Benznidazole and nifurtimox for acute phase

Prevention: Insecticides (indoor), blood-bank screening, screening of pregnant women and children of infected women

Location: Mainly in Latin America

Prevalence: 10 million people infected

Trending: Decreased from 20 million cases in 1981 to 10 million in 2009

Fact: Of 10 million people infected, 2 to 3 million will die prematurely of heart disease.

Better, Safer Drugs: “At least 60 percent of children with chronic T. cruzi infection can be cured, and treatment of adults decreases progression and mortality. But the drugs have significant toxicity and better, safer drugs are urgently needed.”

Robert Gilman, a tropical disease expert, conducted research in Peru for more than 25 years.


This forum is closed
  • Phyllis Sommer

    Chicago,Illinois 05/13/2011 11:21:40 AM

    Remember Chlamydia T. is a sexually transmitted disease and any prevention & teaching needs to include that fact. Condoms are number one prevention strategy. If people are warned about infertility as result of Chlamydia,they may be more amenable to condom use since fertility is highly valued in those countries.

  • Dr. B N Patnaik

    India 01/24/2012 02:23:35 AM

    I would like to know more about your C.trachomatis trail........I am preparing documents for clinical trailof Oral HPV vaccine in India .

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