Chagas disease is an under recognized infection that if detected early, can be cured, or its clinical course improved. Usually, the disease progression is slow and often shows as an asymptomatic clinical course; but without treatment, Chagas disease can lead to severe cardiac and digestive alterations, and even become fatal.
Caused by the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, which is found in the Americas, is primarily transmitted to animals and people by triatomine bugs mainly in rural areas of Latin America, affecting those without access to health care. Its distribution changes due to the relocation of individuals from endemic countries and also because of its chronic natural history. Chagas disease can be transmitted via blood transfusion, organ transplantation, and mother-to-baby. In its chronic phase, treatment can slow or delay its progression. It is paramount to raise awareness on this disease as an important proportion of cases are undiagnosed and barriers to access health services cause often important treatment delays in parts of the region.
On April 14, 2023, World Chagas Disease Day, ISID joins the global community to raise awareness of this disease and promote better access for its diagnosis and treatment.