Officials Issue Warnings About Chagas Disease in Little Rock
While many Americans grow concerned over the Ebola epidemic sweeping across Africa, other serious diseases are more direct threats right in our backyards, especially in Arkansas. In fact, a bloodsucking insect—known as the Kissing Bug—has been linked to a deadly disease called Chagas.
Chagas is the result of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, finding its way into a human host’s body. Symptoms can take weeks to manifest themselves and may include:
- Swelling at the site of infiltration
- Inflammation of the heart or brain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Dilated Esophagus or colon
Approximately 300,000 Americans are infected with the disease each year, with as many as 30 percent of those individuals suffering Chagas-related health problems for the remainder of their lives.
Kissing Bugs—a member of the stink bug family—have been known to carry the parasite and pass it to humans through contact with hosts. According to an article from Arkansas Matters, the Arkansas Department of Health has tested bugs in the Little Rock area for the disease and confirmed one bug as a carrier.
Experts go on to say that residents of the Little Rock community who find the black and orange bugs in their homes should seek assistance in addressing the problem immediately.
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our Little Rock personal injury lawyers know the dangers that can be associated with communicable diseases and hope these tips help Arkansas families avoid Chagas.