U.S.: Some Migrants Bringing Chagas Disease with them

Posted on July 24, 2014 • Filed under: Latin America Health

theatlantic.com reported… According to Dr. Susan Montgomery, who leads the epidemiology team at the CDC, American doctors started to hear about Chagas disease in 2007 when blood banks in the U.S. began screening for it and sending people letters informing them that they had tested positive and should see their physicians. Health care providers started contacting the CDC and they haven’t stopped. In a ranking of the common phone inquiries the CDC receives, “Chagas disease is always number two every single month,” Montgomery said.

In 2010, one of those calls came from Northern Virginia. Pediatric infectious disease doctors there were seeing an unusual parasite in the blood smears of a baby who’d been born prematurely. The mom was a 31-year-old woman from Bolivia, and the baby, who’d been born at 29 weeks, weighed slightly more than 4 pounds. He seemed to be fighting an infection, and doctors assumed it was sepsis and treated him with antibiotics. Then they saw the parasite and talked with the mom. In Bolivia, expectant women are usually tested for Chagas, and yes, she remembered. With her previous pregnancy, she’d been told she had Chagas. Read Article

Share This Story
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • email