Mankind has been subject to diseases of various kinds and this has been more eminent in the 21st century. The outbreak of a new disease usually creates a startling impression, pandemonium and chaos. Everyone runs helter skelter seeking ways to survive.
Upon hearing the news, scientists proceed to the laboratory to conduct research for cures, once found, the chaotic rattling oozes. Notwithstanding, there is always a continual need to learn ways to prevent these deadly diseases. One of these diseases is called Chagas. In the proceed paragraph below, more will be revealed about Chagas, its origin, main region, causes, symptoms and preventive measures.
Be Aware Of Chagas Disease
Chagas disease was discovered in 1909 by Brazilian Physician Carlos Chagas and named after him. This disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite found in the poop of the triatomine bug. It is often referred to as the kissing disease because the triatomine bugs tend to kiss people’s faces thereby defecating on the face after biting and ingesting on blood, if the person has a break in the skin, the parasite creeps on and enters the body.
Being vividly conscious of chagas disease will enable a person to know the preventive and protective measures to take when the need arises. Chagas disease affects both humans and animals and is commonly found in the poorest region of Mexico, Central America, and South America affecting 8 million people and some are not aware of being inflicted.
Symptoms of Chagas Disease
Early detection and early treatment will help reduce the risk of the parasite causing more damage to the body such as the heart and the digestive system. The symptoms are separated into two phases; the Acute phase and the Chronic phase.
☑️ The Acute Phase
The phase usually takes about weeks or months without display of symptoms but when the symptoms reveal, it is always mild. The symptoms include:
- Swelling at the infection spot
- General body aches
- Swelling of the eyelid
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen glands
- Liver enlargement
These symptoms are usually mild, if it is not being treated it will advance to the chronic phase.
☑️ The Chronic Phase
At this critical phase, the following symptoms are seen;
- Fluctuating heartbeat
- Heart failure
- Cardiac arrest
- Difficulty swallowing due to enlarged esophagus
- Constipation as a result of enlarged colon
- Stomach pain
How To Easily Get Infected With Chagas?
- Through transfusion of infected blood: most people living with this disease are not aware, during blood donation, blood collected should be properly screened before use during an emergency.
- Eating contaminated food or drink: if food has been left uncovered, there is a possibility the bug perches on it and drops its poop and for drink vice versa.
- During organ transplant: Using the organ of an infected person on someone else.
- Through pregnancy: during pregnancy, an infected mother can transfer this disease to the developing foetus.
- During lactating: during breastfeeding, an infected mother can easily transfer the disease to the child.
- Living in a mud house: mud house abhors this insect in the holes on the walls of the house which makes it easily accessible and contractible.
How To Prevent Chagas Disease?
There are easy steps to follow to prevent chagas disease and it is stated below:
- Make use of non-penetrative insect nets to prevent bites from the insect.
- Those donating blood should be screened thoroughly.
- Always make use of insecticide and make sure it is frequently available for emergency use.
- Maintain good personal hygiene.
- Keep your surroundings clean to keep insects away.
- If bitten,use insect repellent spray on the affected area.
How Chagas Is Treated?
When a person becomes infected with Chagas, Benznidazole and Nifurtimox are the most effective medicine used in curing and killing the parasite at the initial stage; the acute phase. These antiparasitic medications work best during the early phase, if you experience symptoms go for diagnosis and receive the needed treatment to prevent the disease from destroying your organs.
It has been revealed that Chagas are seen in poor rural areas, avoiding such places at all cost will be health wise. Chagas disease is still affecting people today, specifically those in central America, south America and Mexico. Cases of 22 to 108 congenital transmission of Chagas are reported yearly and estimates show 288,000 infected persons in the U.S.
Remember, to prevent a disease is better than to cure it. Endeavour to put into use the preventive methods listed above.