A family from Seringal Miraflor in Acre state in northern Brazil have tested positive for the parasitic disease, Chagas disease, according to a G1. Globo report (computer translated).

Kissing bug next to penny Image/Rachel Curtis-Hamer Labs
Kissing bug next to penny
Image/Rachel Curtis-Hamer Labs

Ten people from the same family are hospitalized at General Hospital of Feijó with Chagas disease, while three other patients of the same family are awaiting the result of tests.

The report does not say how the family contracted the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas.

According to the World Health Organization(WHO), Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). It is found mainly in endemic areas of 21 Latin American countries.

About 7 million to 8 million people worldwide are estimated to be infected with the parasite.

T. cruzi parasites are mainly transmitted by the infected feces of blood-sucking triatomine bugs. In addition, the parasite can be transmitted via food contaminated with T. cruzi through for example the contact with triatomine bug feces, blood transfusions using blood from infected donors, passage from an infected mother to her newborn during pregnancy or childbirth, organ transplants using organs from infected donors and laboratory accidents.