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Chagas disease

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Dr. Seema Yasmin’s reported this story as a National Health Journalism Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center for Health Journalism.
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Like many streets in Houston’s Greater Fifth Ward, Worms Street offers the perfect environment for the spread of tropical diseases. Many of these infections aren’t new, but rising temperatures and poverty create a perfect storm for their spread.

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Patients receiving blood transfusions are at risk of infection with Chagas disease, a tropical illness, according to an investigation by The Dallas Morning News and broadcast partner KXAS-TV.

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These seven tropical diseases are closer to home than you think. Lurking in Dallas-area backyards is Chagas disease, caused by a parasite that infects more than 300,000 Americans. The disease can cause heart failure and death in humans and dogs and is often missed by doctors.

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If she hadn’t gone to donate blood, Candace Stark wouldn’t have discovered that she harbored a dangerous parasite. Although she hadn’t left Texas in 20 years, swimming in her blood was a tropical parasite that causes a disease called Chagas.

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Innovative health reforms in Oregon, new recommendations on hormones for women, an intensive treatement for hypertension, the spread of Chagas disease and more from our Daily Briefing.

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