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World Chagas Disease Day

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

World Chagas Disease Day

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Chagan disease- causes, symptoms and treatment.

Context: On April 14, 2020, World Chagas Disease Day is being observed for the first time. The day is observed to spread awareness about this “silent and silenced disease”. The 72nd World Health Assembly approved the designation of Chagas Disease Day on May 24, 2019. 

Why it is called the “silent and silenced disease”?

The Chagas disease is called silent because it progresses slowly, and silenced because it mainly affects the poor people who often lack political voice and proper health care.

About the disease:

The disease got its name from Dr Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, who diagnosed the first patient with the disease in Brazil on April 14, 1909.

It is classified as a neglected tropical disease (NTD), meaning it affects the low-income populations in developing countries across the globe.

Also called the American trypanosomiasis, this vector-borne disease hits the most poverty-stricken communities, especially in Latin America.

How is it transmitted?

  • A parasitic protozoan called Trypanosoma cruzi that causes this vector-borne disease is usually transmitted by faeces and urine of triatomine bugs or kissing bugs, which belongs to the family of assassin bugs.
  • The disease can also be transmitted by contaminated food, organ transplantations, blood or blood products transfusion, and infected mothers to newborn.
  • Lack of awareness and neglecting the symptoms, especially among poor households, results in much severe symptoms and even death.

The symptoms of the disease come in two phases:

Symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, difficulty in breathing, abdominal or chest pain and enlarged lymph glands.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are neglected tropical diseases?
  2. Difference between Protozoa, bacteria and viruses?
  3. Why this disease is called the “silent and silenced disease”?
  4. What is World Health Assembly?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Sources: pib.