American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) in Venezuela

17 April 2018

Article: 52/1503

On 9 April 2018, media reported a suspected outbreak of acute Chagas disease. A total of five people died in the city of Puerto Nuevo in Táchira state, west of Venezuela. The fatalities were an 11 month old baby, a 79 year-old woman and three men of 31, 42 and 51 years old respectively.

Advice for Travellers: Trypanosomiasis is transmitted by the reduvid bugs which inhabit thatched roofs and cracks in the walls of mud huts. The bugs come out and blood feed at night, transmitting infection, into the bite wound as they feed. In addition oral transmission of infection via contaminated fruit juice has been the cause of outbreaks in Brazil and Venezuela.

Further information and advice for clinicians advising travellers can be accessed on TRAVAX.

Source: ProMED Mail, 10 April 2018