Risk of Chagas Disease in interior municipalities of Acre State, Brazil

In the state of Acre, there have been 21 people diagnosed with Chagas Disease this year, or almost triple the number reported last year. Many of the people became infected by consuming contaminated açaí, a food or beverage obtained from the açaí palm tree. The most affected municipality has been Feijó. Two deaths were reported in the municipality of Rodrigues Alves.

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

Advice For Travellers

The risk for the general traveller is low. However, consumption of homemade food or beverage for the açaí palm tree may pose a risk. Chagas disease is present in many rural areas. The risk is increased if travellers camp, stay in poorly constructed housing, obtain unscreened blood transfusions, or consume contaminated food or drink in areas (usually rural) where Chagas Disease occurs.

There is no vaccine to protect against Chagas disease. Travellers who cannot avoid camping, sleeping outdoors, or staying in poor quality housing should sleep under insecticide-impregnated bed nets and tuck in the edges to protect against the insect bite.