More than 8 million people have been infected by a tropical disease known as Chagas, most of them in Latin and Central America, according to a new publication by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The “globalization” of Chagas, which is spread by insects, translates to up to 1 million cases in the US alone, the report revealed, adding other estimates suggest that there are approximately 300,000 cases in the US, in addition to thousands of cases documented in Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan.
It is estimated that as many as 11 million people in Mexico, Central America, and South America have Chagas disease, most of whom do not know they are infected.
In Chagas-endemic areas, the main mode of transmission is through an insect vector called a triatomine bug.
There are a number of striking similarities between people living with Chagas disease and people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly for those with HIV/AIDS who contracted the disease in the first two decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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