Chagas Disease

Some 300,000 in the U.S. have it. Many are afraid to come forward.
As many as 300,000 Americans are living with the parasitic disease acquired from the bugs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the bugs have been reported in more than half of the states.
Unlike the treatment of other diseases, which starts with doctors and hospitals in capital cities and eventually trickles
The “Kissing Bug” disease has some 8 million people scared for their life in Latin America. The life-threatening illness is passed to people by the chagas bug.
Almost 6 million of the most vulnerable people living in the nine World Cup participating Latin American countries today do not receive treatment for their most debilitating neglected tropical disease.
Coinciding with the publication of a series of articles in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (AJTMH), the new CDC initiative will prioritize five major parasitic diseases, which are considered neglected because they mainly impact Americans who live in extreme poverty, especially in the southern United States and in degraded urban areas of major US cities.
The new HHS Secretary will have a lot on her plate in 2014. It is my hope that with her unique skill set, Ms. Burwell will address this vital and most glaring health disparity among the poorest of the poor in the southern United States.
The global health community has a huge task ahead in order to control or eliminate the worst neglected tropical diseases transmitted by insects or snails.
Science can offer a lot to prevent these infections, thereby making poor people well enough to go back to work, children healthy and intellectually vibrant, and improving pregnancy outcomes.