Quick, do you know what Chagas disease is?
You probably should.
It's caused by parasites transmitted to humans by blood-sucking insects.
But even worse, it has been named “the new AIDS of the Americas” in a new editorial published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Apparently it's almost mirroring the early spread of HIV, so obviously that's not good. But the similarities don't stop there.
Chagas also has a long incubation time, like AIDS. It's also hard or impossible to cure.
Right now it infects an estimated eight million people in the hemisphere, mostly in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia and Central America. But more than 300,000 of the infected live in the United States!
It can even be transmitted through blood transfusion, and results in enlarged hearts and/or intestines which eventually can fail or burst.
That means the death is sudden, and sometimes without warning.
The only treatment available involves harsh drugs taken for up to three months and works only if the disease is caught early.
The drugs are not as expensive as AIDS drugs, though, but the disease is starting in the poorer regions.
We wonder how this is preventable, if at all?