IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Infectious Diseases

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Planning a Trip to Central or South America?

Are you planning a trip to the jungles of South America or doing extended hiking and camping in Central America? You may be at risk of Chagas’ Disease. Transmitted by the Triatoma insect, which typically bites its victims on the face at night, the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite enters your bloodstream and affects organ tissues, most commonly the heart. Found in forest ecosystems and poorly built homes, including huts and cabins, the Triatoma insect is commonly known as ‘vinchuca’ in Spanish or ‘barbeiro’ in Portuguese. In North America, we know it as the ‘assassin bug’ or ‘conenose bug’, but here it does not carry the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Chagas’ Disease affects between 16-18 million people. ...