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Chagas Disease Could Pose Threat Similar To Other Global Pandemics, Experts Warn

“Researchers are warning that the little-known Chagas disease could pose a threat similar to other global pandemics,” Fox News reports, noting Chagas disease “is a parasitic illness that is most commonly transmitted by the so-called ‘kissing bugs,’ a subfamily of blood-sucking insects, through the parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi” (5/31). In an editorial published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on Tuesday, a team of experts in tropical diseases from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas “likens some aspects of the disease to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and warns of a possible pandemic,” GlobalPost writes (Wolfe, 5/31).

“‘The infection affects up to 20 million people in Mexico, Central America, and South America, making Chagas disease the highest impact infectious disease in Latin America,’ The Chagas Foundation reported,” according to Fox News (5/31). “Lead author Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, warns that the disease is spreading globally and there may be between 300,000 and one million cases in the U.S.,” Forbes notes (DiSalvo, 5/31).