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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine

The kissing bug

Trypanosoma Cruzi, also known as the kissing bug, is responsible for Chagas Disease, the number one parasitic killer in Latin America (approximately 8 million cases). Without adequate diagnosis and treatment, one in every four Chagas patients develops a fatal symptom of the disease, usually swelling of the heart muscle. One of the trickiest aspects of the disease is that it can lay dormant and present asymptomatically for up to 30 years.

The good folks at DNDi, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, have just launched a new website in which they urge us all to wake up and take action to support their 3 fold objectives which are to:

1) Prioritize Chagas on the agenda of policy makers and donors. It is time for increased political will.
2) Raise awareness on the disease and its reality. The silence must be broken.
3) Boost R&D of new tools for the disease. New tools and sustainable mechanisms are urgently needed to allow for new diagnostics and treatment.

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We are happy to offer them our support and would like to encourage you to sign up now.

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