If you notice a ‘harmless’ picket on your skin, you better not scratch it because it could be a kissing bug bite, which could not only affect your quality of life but be deadly.
Carlos Madrigal, scientific liaison doctor and person responsible for the Chagas program in Mexico, warns:
The bed bug bites people and defecates. In its depositions is the parasite as such. People feel the itching, scratch and open the skin tissue, which is the direct entrance of the parasite.
One of the final stages of the disease is when the parasite enters the body, it can be maintained for many years, but it has a predilection for certain organs such as the heart and stomach. "
The parasite has a lot of affinity for the nervous system in the intestine, affects the neurons that are at the level of the intestine, and begins to dilate them, a disease of the megabytes, which do so as megacolon.
What is Chagas disease?
It is a life-threatening disease caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, but … what is the danger to our health?
The parasites invade myocardium, colon and esophagus, cause damage to the heart and digestive system. This disease significantly reduces the quality of life of patients, and can be life threatening.
Where is Chagas disease distributed?
According to information from the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE), it is located in Latin America, but in recent decades it has been observed in the United States of America, Canada, in 17 European countries and some in the Western Pacific .
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that this disease affects 7 to 8 million individuals, especially in Latin America.
20% of the Latin American population is considered at risk of acquiring the infection mainly in endemic areas of 21 countries mainly (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana , Suriname, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Guatemala and Mexico).
They don't just live in your bed!
There are species found in gardens, trees and pets, so the importance of not letting them into the house.
If the bed bug inhabits us and deposits feces in food, it is another form of infection.
Finding the bug is that they are going to make the diagnosis, because every time the parasite stays in the blood, the body is left with specific antigens and antibodies that can be detected.
How to fight it?
- Keep your house clean and in good condition
- Avoid storing building materials near the house
- Clean behind furniture
- Get away from the bed goods and furniture that are attached to the wall
- Cover your mattress and cloth furniture
- Wash food well before eating
- Keep the house ventilated and well lit
- If possible, place meshes and insect protectors on windows and doors
- Leave your pet in a clean place outside your home
- Spray your house every six months
Red and swollen sting
Inflammation of some eye
Enlargement of the lymph nodes
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
Fast heart beat (tachycardia)
Tests to detect the disease
The confirmation of the disease is done through parasitological and serological tests, all these diagnosed in a laboratory and will depend on the stage in which the sick person is.
The acute phase is diagnosed through direct blood tests (parasitological), while the chronic phase is diagnosed through serological tests.
Treatment for Chagas disease
Primary: Eliminate the parasite and contribute to the reduction of the probability of developing the clinical manifestations of the disease and its complications.
Secondary: Contribute to the interruption of the parasite's transmission chain T. cruzi.
The most advisable thing is that if you find a bed bug, you can spray your house and go as soon as possible to the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE), so that you can make a diagnosis.
CENAPRECE experts assess the damage done by the bed bugs and report confirmed cases of Chagas disease, ”advises Carlos Madrigal.
“We have had contact with UNAM hand in hand with Cenaprece appears and looking to add initiatives with private companies. What we are looking for in the specific Chagas program is to look for a collaboration that can have an impact on the population. ” Carlos Madrigal
110 years after its discovery, Chagas disease is still included in the list of neglected tropical diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in Mexico there are approximately one million people infected and about 30 million more at risk of contracting it.
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