In today’s busy world, we see few people around the world who actually know about Lyme, West Nile, or other bacteria derived diseases. In addition to this, a new type of infection called ‘Chagas’ has shown up. Chagas is that diseases which can kill you silently. It has been estimated that it has infected up to 8 million people in Latin America, but recently we have also seen it in Texas. So, We are going to study some crucial aspects that help us to learn about this disease so that we can prevent this:-
- What is Chagas?
- Symptoms of Chagas
- What Causes Chagas?
- Prevention of Chagas
- How To Treat Chagas
What is Chagas?
The Chagas disease is lesser known in America, but we can’t deny the fact that it’s out there for thousands of years. It is caused by a parasite called kissing bug which is also known as Trypanosoma cruzi, Triatomine bug, and assassin bug. The triatomine bug transmits parasites mostly in Mexico, South America, and Mexico so whenever you visit there, stay safe. Also, It not only shows its impact on humans, but animals are also affected by these parasites.
Symptoms of Chagas
The patient may suffer from multiple illness issues, but in case of Chagas, it becomes hard to estimate the symptoms at an early stage. Most of the patients observe their signs at chronic stage. Mainly, The Chagas disease consists of two phases:-
This phase lasts for some weeks or months, and it’s also not possible to observe symptoms, but once it grows in the body, we can see the following signs:
- Body Aches
- A headache
- Eyelid Swelling
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Swollen Glands
- Enlargement of Liver
- Swelling of the infected region
All the signs and symptoms developed during the acute phase can go away on its own. If the patient is left untreated, the situation becomes worse, and the patient reaches the chronic stage.
It has been said that the signs and symptoms of chronic phase occur after 10-20 years of initial infection. In some cases, they never occur, however, the patient at the chronic stage can suffer from the following symptoms:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Due to the enlarged esophagus, it becomes difficult to swallow
- Heart failure
- Enlarged colon causes constipation or abdominal pain
How You Get Affected?
You can be affected by multiple ways, so be aware of your surroundings. Here are some of the ways these parasites can attack you:
- When you eat uncooked contaminated foods, these parasites sometimes stick with it and take place inside your body.
- If your mother was infected with T. cruzi, when she gave birth to you, then there are chances that you will also suffer from this infection.
- Transfusion of blood that contains infection can make you sick too.
- Getting an organ transplant from a person who was infected with T.cruzi.
- If you work in a laboratory, then you may suffer from T. cruzi because of the accidental exposure to the parasites.
- Do you like to go on a picnic? Well, spending time in forests can be one of the significant ways to get infected because most of these parasites reside in such places.
Prevention of Chagas Disease
Prevention is always considered as a better option than remedy, and for the sake of knowledge, you should know that there’s no vaccine available for this disease. So, the best way to prevent it is to stay away from the assassin bugs. If you live in a muddy, thatch, or adobe kind of house, it’s essential for you to use some insecticides to get away from them. You can also use an insecticide-soaked net to cover your bed because these bugs are most likely to bite when you sleep. Otherwise, if you are traveling those places where these types of insects reside, use a repellent.
How To Treat Chagas
If you are at the first stage, you can recover from it without hustling. Doctors have claimed that during the first phase, it’s easiest to treat it but the lack of observance make it difficult for us to spot them. If you or someone you know have this, doctors will usually recommend you for blood tests. Doctors check your blood with the help of a microscope to confirm whether you are infected or not. If tests show that you’re infected, they will further recommend you an EKG(Electrocardiogram) test to check whether you have any heart problem or not.
There are two potent drugs which have been proved as an adequate remedy to cure Chagas: benznidazole, and nifurtimox. Doctors advise their patients to consume these drugs as soon as possible because any delay will further result in complications.
***Caution***: These drugs aren’t for pregnant women, but infected infants can have it. However, don’t take this drug without a medical prescription.
Share this information as much as possible so that at least some people can save their life with the help of this post 🙂