Chagas Disease: Epidemiology and Barriers to Treatment
Chronic human infection by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, known as Chagas disease, results in heart failure and death in 20%-30% of affected individuals. Recognition and treatment of the infection are difficult. Disease control requires elimination of the vector, the reduviid bug, that infests housing of poor quality in endemic areas. In South America, control has largely succeeded in the Southern Cone countries —Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, southern Brazil and São Paulo, and Paraguay—but lags severely in the Northern Triangle (Central American) countries: El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.