‘Kissing Bugs’ Spread Neglected Tropical Disease Across Europe

Cases of Chagas Disease Spread by ‘Kissing Bugs’ Rising in Europe

The incidence of Chagas disease, a tropical illness transmitted by blood-sucking ‘kissing bugs,’ is on the rise in certain regions of Europe. Despite a global decrease in Chagas disease infections over the past three decades, there’s a significant increase observed in new countries, marking it as a growing concern.

Endemic primarily to Latin America, countries like Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil have historically borne the brunt of Chagas disease. However, recent trends suggest a worrisome spread into Europe and North America.

Studies show a notable increase in reported cases in Spain and Italy, with rises also noted in Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, and the UK. The United States, particularly California, remains a hotspot for non-endemic cases.

Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is now recognized as a global health threat by experts. While the majority of cases are still concentrated in Latin America, the growing prevalence in North America and Europe underscores the importance of proactive screening and awareness campaigns.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates millions of new infections annually, with millions more at risk. Despite efforts, a significant portion of those infected remain undiagnosed, contributing to the silent spread of the disease.

Chagas disease is primarily transmitted through bites from infected kissing bugs, but can also spread through various other means including consumption of contaminated food, blood transfusions, and vertical transmission from mother to child during pregnancy.

While acute symptoms are often flu-like and transient, chronic cases can lead to severe cardiac complications, including arrhythmias, heart failure, and thromboembolism.

Efforts to combat Chagas disease must include robust screening protocols and increased awareness, particularly in regions experiencing rising cases. Failure to address the spread of this neglected tropical disease could have dire consequences for public health worldwide.

Lucas Falcão

International Politics and Sports Specialist, Chief Editor of Walerts with extensive experience in breaking news.

Share this
Share on facebook
Share on telegram
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Social Trends

BreakNews Alerts in Your Email

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp