Chagas Disease: Sharing the Burden and the Solutions in the United States and Mexico
Matthews, Kirstin R.W.
Herricks, Jennifer R.
Chagas disease—the third most common parasitic infection in the world—affects approximately 7.5 million people, mostly in Latin America. Population mobility between Latin America and the rest of the world has led to increasing detection of Chagas disease in the United States, Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world in the last decade. Those living in poverty, including in the United States and Mexico, are at risk of Chagas disease infection due to poor quality housing that leads to infestation by the disease-carrying insect, the kissing bug. The actual extent of the disease burden in Mexico, where the disease is endemic, and the United States is unclear due to limited diagnosis and surveillance. To help reduce outbreaks, the US and Mexican governments should implement surveillance programs, initiate vector1 control programs (as needed), increase awareness among health care providers, and fund research for the development of Chagas vaccines and treatments.