http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/health/chagas-disease-cost...Chagas Disease Costs U.S. More Than Better-Known IllnessesBy DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.New York Times, February 11, 2013Chagas disease may be obscure, but the economic burden it imposes on the world is greater than that of better-known diseases, like cervical cancer or cholera, according to a new study. Even in the United States, the authors said, the costs of Chagas are commensurate with those of more publicized diseases, like Lyme disease.... Chagas disease is caused by a trypanosome parasite transmitted by the bloodsucking “kissing bug,” which bites victims as they sleep. Transmission is endemic in much of Latin America, from central Mexico to northern Argentina. Kissing bugs have been found in the southern United States; the bugs tend to live in substandard housing and animal pens.The parasites cause an initial flulike illness that can be cured if it is caught. But it is often not diagnosed, and the infection may become chronic. It may be silent for decades and then emerge as long-term damage to the heart or intestines. It can be fatal. ... [end quote]In the greater scheme of things, $1 billion is a small problem as Macro problems go. However, some doctors read METAR and some METARs live and/or travel to the south.This is a heads-up that a new bug is in the U.S. that can mimic a common disease but cause long-term fatal damage. If you see this critter in your house, beware.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TriatominaeWendy
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