The State Department of Public Health (Sespa) confirmed on Sunday that a family of seven from Curralinho, Marajó contracted the parasitic infection, Chagas disease, after comsuming contaminated acai

Triatoma pallidipennis Image/James Gathany (CDC)
Triatoma pallidipennis
Image/James Gathany (CDC)

The seven include father, mother and children, according to a G1 Globo report (computer translated).

According to Sespa, the diagnosed patients are already under treatment. Sespa also said he will visit community homes and mobilize community health workers to take action on proper handling of açai and prevent disease.

In October, the city of Belém published a survey pointing out that of 268 açaí selling places in the capital, only 28 were considered satisfactory.

According to officials, a high amount of fecal coliforms was verified, which shows that the bleaching step was not done, and fragments of insects were also found, indicating that the sieving stage was not fulfilled.

The study analyzed 140 açaí-based food samples that were collected at fairs and supermarkets in Pará (2010 to 2015) and Rio de Janeiro (2010 to 2012). The presence of the genetic material of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi was detected in 14 products, that is, 10% of the total samples. The insect DNA that transmits the parasite, known as the kissing bug, was also identified in one of the samples.

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