Global health advocate Peter Hotez offers 4 takeaways from WHO’s new estimates showing that 5.7 million people are living with Chagas disease (caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi ) in 21 Latin American countries:
- Latin America’s wealthiest G20 economies—Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico –have the largest number of people infected with T. cruzi
- Bolivia is “ground zero” for global Chagas disease
- High rates of vectorial and maternal-to-child transmission still occur in the Gran Chaco (interior south-central South America), the Andean subregion, and Central America
- US Chagas cases were not included in the WHO release, nor were cases in Europe, Japan and Australia
If WHO and PAHO want to interrupt transmission, then G20 economies in the Americas need to step up, Hotez writes.