The Spread of Chagas Disease: One of the Leading Causes of Heart Failure in Latin America

Although Chagas disease has only recently emerged as a possible public health concern in some southern states of the U.S., this infectious disease has been a major threat of high priority for health officials throughout many nations of Latin America for many years.

Prevalent in countries such as Mexico and Brazil, Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening tropical parasitic infection caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) found mostly in endemic areas of Central and South America. Continue reading

Lessons from Polio in Nigeria

At the end of the twenty-fifth year of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, only three polio-endemic countries remain in the world – a drastic difference from the more than 125 countries struggling to control polio in 1988. One of these remaining countries is one of the most populous in the world: Nigeria.

Located in West Africa, Nigeria has made ongoing efforts to eradicate polio since 1988 as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Continue reading

Ebola and Cultural Misunderstandings

The spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa has generated fear over the possible global spread of the disease due to traveling, improper health care, and the potential transmission of disease through bodily fluid exchange or, less likely, airborne contamination.

Experts generally trace the origins of Ebola to fruit bats which can carry the disease without being affected themselves. Continue reading