New transmission route for Chagas Disease in Brazil

An outbreak of Chagas Disease in the city of Abaetetuba, in the interior of Para State involving 24 cases and 1 death has been traced to the oral consumption of acai, a type of palm tree commonly found in this area. Chagas disease is usually transmitted directly as an aftermath of the direct bite of the triatome insects that harbours the parasite. In this case, the insect is attracted to this plant where it deposits contaminated waste that is subsequently consumed. Some other outbreaks have implicated contaminated freshly pressed fruit juices. Travellers in areas where this disease is common should avoid consuming fresh juices and fresh palm.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Chagas Disease.

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