Chagas disease is affecting people even in the U.S.

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It’s not a joke because both phases of infection can be symptom-free or life-threatening. When symptoms are present in the acute phase, it’s about fever, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, enlarged lymph glands, pallor, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, swelling and abdominal or chest pain. Later, after those symptoms fade away within months or weeks, the infection persists and produces cardiac, digestive, neurological or mixed alterations with threating life potential. Finally, parasites are mostly hidden in the heart and digestive muscle. Sudden death or heart failure are possible. Benznidazole and nifurtimox are 100 percent effective in killing the parasite and curing the disease only in the acute phase.

The World Health Organization recommends prevention by spraying of houses and surrounding areas with residual insecticides, personal preventative measures such as good hygiene practices in food preparation, transportation, storage and consumption and not at last, if possible, sleeping in well-constructed facilities because the “kissing bugs” are active during the night time, when they tend to feed on people’s faces. As was estimated, 300,000 people in U.S . have Chagas disease.

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