|Basic InformationLookupsLatest News|A Shot of Caffeine May Speed Wake-Up After AnesthesiaZika Hijacks Pregnant Woman's Immune SystemHernia Patients May Need Fewer Opioids After Surgery, Study FindsHealth Tip: Prevent DehydrationTravel Tips for Contact Lens WearersHigher Odds of Infection With Reduced Kidney FunctionMost Ulcerative Colitis Patients Do Not Achieve Target RemissionOral Contraceptive Use Linked to Lower Rheumatoid Arthritis RiskKidney Disease May Boost Odds of InfectionZika May Not Last in Semen as Long as ThoughtVirtual House Calls for Speedy, Effective Parkinson's CareNearly 4 Million Worldwide Die Each Year From Asthma, COPDPowerful New Cholesterol Med Won't Harm Memory, Easing ConcernsDiverse Spectrum of Neurologic Syndromes Seen With ZikaExposure to Particulate Matter Linked to Metabolic AlterationsAir Purifiers May Help the Smog-Stressed Heart'Fat But Fit' a Myth?Statin Use Among Nursing Home Residents Varies SignificantlyZika Virus Tied to Neurological Woes in AdultsAn Expert's Guide to Preventing Food PoisoningHeart Risk Up if Hospitalized for Pneumonia or SepsisSinging May Be Good Medicine for Parkinson's PatientsCPAP Doesn't Alter Renal Function in Coexisting OSA, CVDWhen Stress Hormone Falters, Your Health May SufferKidney Disease May Boost Risk of Abnormal HeartbeatCertain Jobs Linked to Raised Risk of Rheumatoid ArthritisMidlife Vascular Risk Factors Tied to Increased Risk of DementiaHigher Risk of CVD Persists After Hospital Stay for Severe InfectionAntibiotic Doesn't Prevent Lung Complication After Stem Cell TransplantHealth Tip: One of Three Adults Gets ShinglesBlood Pressure Fluctuations Tied to Dementia Risk in StudyDecline in Kids' Ear Infections Linked to Pneumococcal VaccineFDA Approves Mavyret for Hepatitis CDoes Less Sleep Make You Less Healthy?Diabetes Drug Shows Promise Against Parkinson'sReview Suggests Benefits of Aerobic Exercise in FibromyalgiaNovel Procedure Improves Kidney Transplant SuccessABP 501, Adalimumab Biosimilar, Safe and Effective, for PsoriasisSimilar Defects ID'd for T2DM, Chronic Pancreatitis and DiabetesScientists Gain Insight Into AllergiesHealth Tip: Cooling a Heat RashKnow the Signs of ConcussionDo Your Pearly Whites Sometimes Cause You Pain?Rates of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Down in Rural AreasZika Probably Not Spread Through Saliva: StudyDrug for Kidney Disease Tied to Infection RiskGum Disease May Be Linked to Cancer Risk in Older WomenStent Surgery Could Benefit Select Glaucoma PatientsBlood Proteins Linked to Severity of Chronic Fatigue SyndromeDrowning Can Occur Hours After SwimmingQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Illness From 'Kissing Bug' Now Widespread in U.S.
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Apr 18th 2017
TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- It's spread by an insect that's often called the "kissing bug." And now, the parasitic infection know as Chagas disease is prevalent in the United States, new research shows.
Investigators tested nearly 5,000 Latin American-born residents of Los Angeles County in California. They found that 1.3 percent had Chagas disease, which can cause life-threatening heart damage if not treated early.
"Less than 1 percent with the infection are receiving treatment for Chagas disease," said study author Sheba Meymandi.
Meymandi is director of the Center of Excellence for Chagas Disease at Olive View-University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.
Chagas disease is caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted by the triatomine bug -- also called the "kissing bug" -- found throughout the Americas.
About 30 percent of infected people develop serious heart, digestive or neurological disorders, the researchers said in background notes.
The new study suggests there are about 30,000 people in the Los Angeles area with Chagas. It also supports a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 300,000 people in the United States are living with Chagas disease, the investigators said.
"Without treatment, many Chagas patients are at risk of a "silent death" due to heart failure. Our study demonstrates the need for similar research in other states, and underscores the critical importance of early detection and treatment to tackle this public health challenge in the U.S.," Meymandi said in a news release from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.
"Although this study concentrated on Latin American-born residents of Los Angeles, Chagas disease has also been in the U.S. for centuries," said Colin Forsyth, an epidemiologist from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative and Doctors Without Borders.
The study was supported by the two groups.
"The bugs that transmit Chagas disease live in 27 states -- the whole southern half of the country, and we know they sometimes infect people, but we need further research to determine how often this takes place," Forsyth said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on Chagas disease.
This article: Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.