An appraisal of the status of Chagas disease in the United States
- Rodrigo Zeledon
- Charles Beard
- J.C. Pinto Dias
- David Leiby
- Patricia Dorn
- Jose Coura
This title critically reviews old and new literature, help to create greater awareness of the disease in the US and helps in the evaluation of certain epidemiological and public health issues.
During the first half of the 20th century, Chagas disease was assumed to be absent from the U.S. and considered an exotic disease, until the first two indigenous cases were discovered, almost simultaneously, in Texas, 1955. Since that time four indigenous cases have been documented in several places in the country. Although the disease is still considered uncommon in the US, this disease is not longer an exclusive Latin American illness.
Physicians in the US are often unaware of the characteristics of the diseases, and are likely overlooking locally acquired cases. The influx of an estimated 300,000 Latin American immigrants with the Chagas parasite means that there is an urgent need for physicians and public health officials to become aware.
Useful to all those interested in understanding the real picture of Chagas disease in the US, both physicians, veterinarians, public health workers, epidemiologists, parasitologists, ecologists, and infectious and vector-borne disease specialists