– ‘Kissing bug’ disease creeps into US, but symptoms often missed (Al Jazeera, Nov 7, 2014):
Spread through the feces of blood-sucking insects, Chagas can cause heart failure and damage intestines
Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have been infected with the potentially fatal “kissing bug” disease, but U.S. health care workers’ lack of awareness often prevents successful diagnosis and treatment, according to a report released this week.
The dearth of federally licensed drugs to combat the disease also limits patients’ access to treatment, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) on Thursday.
“This is a real health concern in the United States that deserves much more attention, research and funding for patient care and education,” said Dr. Jennifer Manne-Goehler, a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston who was the lead author of the study.