Tropical Terrors

A brief review of tropical diseases

Chagas Disease - American Trypanosomiasis

Like African trypanosomiasis, Chagas Disease is spread by a trypanosome parasite. But unlike sleeping sickness, it is spread not directly by the bite of a fly but indirectly - as the infected reduviid fly feeds on its victim's blood, it defecates on the skin. Later, when the victim rubs the bite - typically near the eye - the infected material is rubbed into the bite.

Reduviid bugs are generally found living in the roofs - especially thatched roofs - of poor housing.

Thatched-roof dwellings in the Amazon basin.

They come out at night, so prevention is aimed at both spraying for the fly, improving housing, and sleeping in bed nets.  The reduviid bug:

Reduviid bug responsible for transmitting American trypanosomiasis.