In the US, the proliferation of predatory insects has led to a significant increase in infections of Chagas disease( American trypanosomiasis).The tropical disease, which was originally widespread in Central and South America, is often symptom-free for a long period of time, but can eventually lead to heart failure, scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine warn. Patients often develop cardiomyopathy, with one in six people dying from heart failure within five years, the researchers write.
In recent research, experts at Baylor Medical University have uncovered that Texas is already seeing increased transmission of Chagas disease by blood-sucking predatory bugs. According to the experts, a further increase in the number of infections is to be expected with the spread of the parasites. In Central and South America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC), "an estimated eight million people are infected with Chargas," and more than 300,000 people in the United States live with a Chargas infection. However, the latter have mainly been infected in the endemic countries, according to the CDC.However, this may change in the future, as Texas already has an increased proportion of local infections today.
Chagas disease often without symptoms for a long time
Chagas disease is transmitted by bugs that, when they bite, pass on the unicellular Trypanosoma cruzi. The bugs tend to stick in the area of the mouth during sleep, which has earned them the name "kissing bug" in the US.According to the World Health Organization( WHO), the infections occur in two phases, although in the first phase( up to two months) many pathogens circulate in the blood of those affected, but only 50 percent of those affected show symptoms. These may include skin changes, eyelid swelling, fever, headache, enlarged lymph nodes, paleness, muscle aches, difficulty breathing, swelling and abdominal and chest pain, WHO reports. After about two months, the disease eventually goes into a chronic state and the parasites mainly affect muscles in the heart and stomach."Up to 30 percent of patients suffer from heart disease and up to 10 percent from digestive tract disorders( typically in the esophagus or middle section of the colon)," WHO said. In later years, the infection could lead to sudden death from heart failure.
spread of Chagas disease in the southern US
Kristy Murray and Melissa Nolan Garcia of the Baylor School of Medicine's National School of Tropical Medicine have "revealed an unrecognized level of transmission in the state of Texas in their recent research."Pathogens are therefore very likely to infect and multiply transmissions to humans. However, the spread of Chagas disease to Texas has not been recorded for long, making it difficult to evaluate development. For example, screening tests by the US Food and Drug Administration( FDA) are compulsory for blood donations, since transmission of Chagas' pathogens via blood transfusions is possible. However, they also draw only limited conclusions about their distribution within the USA.According to the figures of the US Disease Protection Agency, one out of 27,500 blood donors tested positive for Chagas, reports the news channel "n-tv".However, the number in Texas is much higher. Here, according to the current study of the Baylor Medical University one of 6,500 blood donors is infected with the tropical disease.(fp)