Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chagas Disease

We don't cover Chagas disease in this class (although I did put a picture of the kissing bug vector on my vector slide) but if you'd like to learn a little about another disease then take a look at this LA Times article: Chagas' disease can cast a silent, lifelong shadow. Chagas is a potentially fatal parasitic disease most often found in Latin Ameri can immigrants. There had been little awareness of it in the U.S., but that's changing.
Experts agree that Chagas needs more attention, but a recent editorial in the Public Library of Science's journal Neglected Tropical Diseases sparked controversy by labeling Chagas "the new HIV/AIDS of the Americas." Peter Hotez, the paper's lead author and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston, noted that both are chronic diseases spread by blood, require toxic medications and disproportionately affect the poor.

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