Prevention of Chagas Disease in English (accent from USA) Chagas is a disease caused by a parasite named Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is transmitted to …
Chagas is a disease caused by
a parasite named Trypanosoma cruzi.
The parasite is transmitted to humans
through the bite of an insect
known as the kissing bug,
vinchuca, chinche, barbiero
and scientifically
called Triatoma infestans.
The kissing bug bites and feeds on blood.
The insect defecates near the sting
and the itching forces the person to scratch,
thus facilitating the entry of the
parasite in the host's bloodstream.
After a sting you can see
a bulge in the skin around the bite
and sometimes
swelling of eyelids of one eye.
You can also have fever,
lack of appetite,
fatigue and swollen glands.
After years without treatment,
the disease can affect the nervous system,
digestive system
and most frequently, the heart.
Parasite transmission can also occur
from infected mother to the baby
during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In rural areas the kissing bugs can nest
in chicken coops, barns or hutches.
Also, in urban areas,
the pigeons that nest in tall
buildings and public squares,
may serve as a host and means
of transportation for the insects.
Inside the houses,
the insects inhabit cracks in walls,
ceilings, behind furniture,
baseboards or hanging pictures
that are not moved frequently.
Normally they seek dark and warm areas
and go out to sting
and feed at night when we sleep.
In the presence of kissing bugs
you should contact
the municipality or local authorities
to perform the fumigation at home.
If insecticides are applied,
it is important to follow
the safety instructions for each product.
Repair cracks in ceilings
and walls with lime or paint.
Maintain a daily cleaning of homes,
relocate furniture and paintings.
Place plastic or metallic
mesh screens at windows
to prevent kissing bugs
and other insects from entering.
In rural areas, move away
from household pets' pens and coops.
In urban areas, eradicate dovecotes
of buildings and public spaces.
Shake your clothing
and bed sheets before bedtime.
Periodically check
under the mattresses and beds.
If bednets are used,
make sure that they are
tucked in around the mattress
so as to prevent
insects from crawling up
and entering through the folds
between the fabric and the bed.
If you find kissing bugs in your home,
do not crush or touch
them with your hand.
Place them in a plastic bag
and give them to a health worker,
medical center or municipality
to have them analyzed.
It is very important that you
consult your physician if you:
1. Have been or suspect to have
been bitten by the kissing bug,
or 2. Live, or have lived,
or traveled in areas
where the kissing bugs are present,
especially if you are pregnant.
3. If your mother or relative
has been diagnosed with the disease
or 4. If you have any symptoms.
It is important for you to know that
there are treatments for this disease.
Let's all work together
to beat the Chagas disease!

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