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The World in Medicine
August 15, 2007

Chagas Disease Initiative

JAMA. 2007;298(7):731. doi:10.1001/jama.298.7.731-d

The World Health Organization has launched an effort to eliminate Chagas disease worldwide by 2010 through a new Global Network for Chagas Elimination.

Chagas disease, a potentially life-threatening illness caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite, occurs mainly in Latin America, but cases have also been identified in Europe and North America. The parasite is usually transmitted through bloodsucking insect vectors called triatomine bugs, or “kissing bugs,” but can also spread through blood transfusion and organ donation or from infected mother to newborn.