The Tocantins State Department of Health in Central Brazil is reporting 14 confirmed Chagas disease cases after a family consumes contaminated juice in Aparecida do Rio Negro, according to a report (computer translated).

All the infected are from the same family and drank the juice of the bacaba, a type of palm tree from the Amazon.

The farm where the juice was produced is in the rural area of Aparecida do Rio Negro. The entire region will go through a Sanitary Surveillance survey next week to prevent further cases.

The suspicion is that feces of the barbeque beetle, which transmits the disease, have gone into the juice. The family was gathered for the second round of the general election and most do not live in the city.

Chagas disease is found mainly in endemic areas of 21 Latin American countries where infection is transmitted mostly by vectors to humans by contact with feces or urine of triatomine bugs (known as “kissing bugs”, among many other popular names).

About 6 to 7 million people worldwide are estimated to be infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. There is no vaccine against Chagas disease. Domiciliary vectorial control and transfusional control, together with congenital transmission, remain the most effective methods of preventing transmission in Latin America.

Chagas disease
Kissing bugs are the vector of Chagas disease
Image/Rachel Curtis–Hamer Labs