The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Heart Doctors Are Warning About Chagas Disease, a Fatal Infection Caused by the 'Kissing Bug' The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Heart Doctors Are Warning About Chagas Disease, a Fatal Infection Caused by the 'Kissing Bug'

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Heart Doctors Are Warning About Chagas Disease, a Fatal Infection Caused by the 'Kissing Bug'

Chagas disease, a parasitic infection that can cause heart disease and stroke, has spread from South and Central America to the United States in recent decades, according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) published this week in the journal Circulation. The statement aims to help U.S. doctors better recognize, diagnose, and treat the infection, which is transmitted by an insect called the kissing bug.

About one-third of people who are infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease develop chronic heart problems at some point in their lives. The infection often goes undiagnosed until it’s too late, experts say, which is why early screening and prevention practices are so important.

To learn more about Chagas disease, Health spoke with Paula Stigler-Granados, PhD, assistant professor at Texas State University's School of Health Administration. Stigler-Granados was not involved in the AHA’s new statement, but she has researched Chagas disease extensively. Here’s what she, and the AHA, want people to know about this scary-sounding and often silent disease.

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by the 'Kissing Bug'
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