A Latin American couple concerned about Chagas disease
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Chagas disease, neglected silent ticking time bomb

Imagine having a time bomb in your body that can explode during your lifetime or, if you are a woman, be passed to the next generation. This is what Chagas disease is like. A silent killer once confined to Latin America now has become global.

It is little known outside its native Latin America, though international travel means there are now many cases in Spain and the USA.

Chagas is one of 17 neglected tropical diseases listed by the WHO. The problem is that there are often no symptoms until it is too late, making it difficult to diagnose and easy to travel with the parasite that causes the illness - although outside the endemic region it can only be transmitted by blood transfusion, organ transplant or mother to child during pregnancy.

A new campaign in Madrid aims to raise awareness and get people the treatment they need.

Gabriela Torres reports.

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  • 05 Oct 2014
  • From the section Health
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