Spain on Chagas alertby Ivano Abbadessa - 2013.10.29
Chagas, a disease often carried by immigrants, is causing alarm in Spain following an epidemic that first began in 2000 with the mass arrival of people from Latin America. It is now the main tropical disease in Spain and leads to cardiac, neurological or digestive problems and, in some cases, even sudden death. Transmitted to humans by a bug, the infection can be spread via blood transfusions, from mother to child or via organ donation. There are currently 42,000 people with the disease in Spain, 60% of which are women of child-bearing age. This year, more than 1,800 people received treatment in 94 health centres across the country. The Mundo Sano Foundation is raising the alarm for what is also known as the silent disease, partly because its symptoms can usually only be detected 20 to 30 years after infection but also because its early manifestations are non-specific. According to the WHO, 100,000 people in Europe are infected. There are two officially available drugs for treatment.
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