• World Chagas Disease Day is observed every year on April 14 to raise awareness about Chagas Disease.
  • The theme for World Chagas Disease Day 2023 is “Time to integrate Chagas disease into primary health care”.

About Chagas Disease

  • It is also called American trypanosomiasis and is a communicable parasitic disease.
  • It is caused by the parasite protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi.
  • The disease is named after physician Carlos Chagas who first detected it in a Brazillian child in 1909.
  • Symptoms– Fever, headaches, rashes and inflammatory nodules, nausea or diarrhoea and muscle or abdominal pain.
    • A majority of the patients (70-80 per cent) show an asymptomatic clinical course throughout their lives, making early detection challenging.
  • Transmission- The parasites are mainly transmitted by a family of bugs called ‘triatomines’, also known as the ‘kissing bug’.
  • An individual can also contract this disease through congenital transmission (pregnant woman to their baby), blood transfusions, organ transplantation, consumption of uncooked food contaminated with the faecal matter of infected bugs or even accidental laboratory exposure.
  • The disease cannot propagate by casual contact with infected humans or animals.
  • The disease remains most prevalent in Latin America.
  • There are currently no vaccines available for Chagas disease. However it can be treated with antiparasitic medicines Benznidazole and Nifurtimox.
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