WORLD CHAGAS DISEASE DAY 2022: To raise awareness about a life-threatening disease that can cause serious heart and digestive issues, every year April 14 is observed as World Chagas Day. The disease is also called American trypanosomiasis, silent disease or silenced disease. It is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma crizu. This parasite is transmitted to humans through the triatomine bug which is also known as the kissing bug.
The disease usually affects impoverished people living in rural areas under poor hygiene conditions. People in regions like Central America, Mexico and South America are more prone to catching the disease.
World Chagas Disease Day: History
World Chagas Disease Day was first observed on April 14, 2020 with an aim to raise the awareness and the visibility of the people suffering from the disease. April 14 was chosen to mark the day as the first case of Chagas disease in a human was reported on this day in 1990.
A Brazilian girl named Berenice Soares de Moura was the first patient of Chagas Disease. The disease got its name from Dr Calros Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas who diagnosed the disease. It was later termed as the silent disease because of its slowly progressing and frequently asymptomatic clinical course.
World Chagas Disease Day: Significance
Chagas Disease can be transmitted to humans in various ways. These include eating partially or uncooked food contaminated by the feces of the infected bug, during blood transfusion from an infected person, or getting in contact with wild animals infected with the parasite.
Once infected, Chagas disease can cause a person to suffer heart failure and can lead to severe digestive and cardiac alterations that can prove fatal.
Experts have observed that during the past few decades, Chagas disease has been increasingly detected in Canada, the United States of America and in European and some Western Pacific countries. Thus, it becomes important to raise awareness of the disease and urge people to take adequate measures to keep it at bay.
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