Beware: Chagas Disease Is The "New AIDS Of The Americas"
A little-known life-threatening illness caused by blood sucking insects has been labeled the "New AIDS of the Americas" by leading health experts.
According to a report, the parasitic illness called Chagas Disease has similarities to the early spread of HIV.
The said disease was once largely contained to Latin America but is now spreading into the United States due to the increases in travel and migration. Chagas is usually transmitted from the bite of blood-sucking insects called Triatome bugs which release a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi into the victim's bloodstream.
The Triatome bugs are black wingless beetles about 20 mm in length and is commonly known as the kissing bugs. The disease spreads easily either through blood transfusions or, less commonly, from mother to child. Like AIDS, the illness is difficult to detect and has a long remission period.
Symptoms of the Chagas disease may include constipation, abdomen pain, enlarged heart and enlarged intestine that can burst suddenly causing instant death, according to experts. An estimated 10 million people worldwide has been already infected with the disease with most sufferers in Central America, Colombia, Mexico and Bolivia, as well as approximately 30,000 people in the United States, according to the New York Times.
Chagas is considered one of the Neglected Parasitic Infections that have been targeted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for public health action.