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Chagas Desease

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by Shaycas, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Shaycas

    Shaycas JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Messages: 899
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    Chagas: Is tropical disease really the new
    Chagas, a tropical disease spread by insects, is
    causing some fresh concern following an
    editorial—published earlier this week in a
    medical journal—that called it "the new AIDS of
    the Americas ."
    More than 8 million people have been infected
    by Chagas, most of them in Latin and Central
    America. But more than 300,000 live in the
    United States.
    The editorial, published by the Public Library of
    Science's Neglected Tropical Diseases, said the
    spread of the disease is reminiscent of the early
    years of HIV.
    "There are a number of striking similarities
    between people living with Chagas disease and
    people living with HIV/AIDS," the authors wrote,
    "particularly for those with HIV/AIDS who
    contracted the disease in the first two decades
    of the HIV/AIDS

    Both diseases disproportionately affect people
    living in poverty, both are chronic conditions
    requiring prolonged, expensive treatment, and
    as with patients in the first two decades of the
    HIV/AIDS epidemic, "most patients with Chagas
    disease do not have access to health care
    Unlike HIV, Chagas is not a sexually-transmitted
    disease: it's " caused by parasites transmitted to
    humans by blood-sucking insects
    ," as the New York Times put it.
    "It likes to bite you on face"
    "It's called the kissing bug. When it ingests your
    blood, it excretes the parasite at the same time.
    When you wake up and scratch the itch, the
    parasite moves into the wound and you're
    "Gaaah," Cassie Murdoch wrote.
    Chagas, also known as American
    trypanosomiasis, kills about 20,000 people per
    year, the journal said.
    And while just 20 percent of those infected with
    Chagas develop a life-threatening form of the
    disease, Chagas is "hard or impossible to cure,".
    The disease can be transmitted from mother to
    child or by blood transfusion. About a quarter of
    its victims eventually will develop enlarged
    hearts or intestines, which can fail or burst,
    causing sudden death. Treatment involves harsh
    drugs taken for up to three months and works
    only if the disease is caught early.
    "The problem is once the heart symptoms start,
    which is the most dreaded complication—the
    Chagas cardiomyopathy—the medicines no
    longer work very well," Dr. Peter Hotez, a
    researcher at Baylor College of Medicine and
    one of the editorial's authors said.
    "Problem No. 2: the medicines are extremely
    And 11 percent of pregnant women in Latin
    America are infected with Chagas, the journal
  2. Mlachake

    Mlachake JF-Expert Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Messages: 2,919
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    chagas? au Nyamwezis?