New “kissing Bug” From Latin America Arrives in Canada

After malaria and Zika, a new parasite in Latin America could endanger the health of Canadians, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Trypanosoma cruzi, also known as “kissing bugs”, transmits Chagas disease.

“Chagas is caught by the bite of this little bug,” says Dr. Pierre Plourde, Medical Director of the Travel Health Clinic and Tropical Medicine Services at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and lead author of the ‘study.

He adds that Trypanosoma cruzi mainly targets the face and feeds at night.

Dr. Plourde wants to alert people from certain Central American and Latin American countries, but also their children, against the risk of infection, even once they are settled in Canada.

His study focuses on a family whose children are born in Canada, and the mother in South America. “I diagnosed Chagas disease in 2010 with a young adult in Winnipeg,” says Dr. Plourde. Two of his sisters were diagnosed later. ”

Shortly after, the mother was also declared positive. According to Dr. Plourde, she was the one who transmitted the disease to her children during her pregnancy.

“The overall risk of transmitting Chagas disease from mother to fetus is only 6%, but when the pregnant woman has a high level of parasites in the blood, the risk of transmission can increase up to 30%”, reveals the study.

Disturbing blood transfusion

It is the blood transfusion that worries us the most.
Dr. Pierre Plourde, author of the study

“The other way to catch the disease is through the blood,” he says. In fact, the person who started the study gave it to Canadian Blood Services for several years. It has been tracking its donors for this disease since 2010.

The author of the study believes that potentially infected but undiagnosed individuals number in the thousands across the country. The few symptoms present are the cause of the low diagnostic rate. “It’s quite a challenge, because in the beginning people have no symptoms, maybe a little fever or inflammation. The person is really not sick. ”

He warns, however, that an individual’s health can get complicated after several decades. “It can take 10, 20 and even 30 years to see the symptoms manifest. Chagas touches the heart. “There will be heart failure, arrhythmia and abnormalities with heartbeats.”

Do not panic

Countries with the highest risk of contracting the disease include Argentina, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay.

To be bitten by this bug, you have to live in rather precarious conditions and for several months in these countries and even several years, and that, without protection.
Dr. Pierre Plourde, author of the study

“Anyone who has lived or traveled to these countries for an extended period of time and has been bitten by the bug, has received a blood transfusion in endemic countries, or whose mother has been diagnosed with Chagas disease must apply to a screening test to their doctor, “recommends Dr. Momar Ndao, co-author of the study.

Nancy Miller

Nancy Miller (MD)  has over 20 years experience as a educator and health practitioner. She has a B.S. from Lake Head University In Thunder Bay, and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph . Dr. Miller has worked as a special medical consultant for a major insurance provider before becoming a freelance health author and public speaker. There are several ways to contact Dr. Miller here.

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2 Comments

  1. who funded this acticle? Pharma fishing for more gov $$$ using the media again?
    Get your fACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO SCARE ANYBODY.

    make the earth flat again vote for big pharma

  2. Screening should stop this but it won’t because Trudeau made sure border control are from Frogbec ! This is a 100% FACT !!!!!

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