Perspectives Open Access


In recent years, Chagas disease has emerged as a disease of importance outside of endemic areas, largely as a result of migration. In Europe, clinicians may have to treat infected migrants from endemic areas as well as people with acute infections transmitted congenitally, through organ donation or blood transfusion. We describe here the characteristics of patients diagnosed with chronic Chagas disease at the core clinical sites of the EuroTravNet network during 2008 and 2009. Of the 13,349 people who attended the sites, 124 had chronic Chagas disease. Most (96%) were born in Bolivia and the median number of months in the country of residence before visiting a EuroTravNet core site was 38 months (quartile (Q)1-Q3: 26-55). The median age of the patients was 35 years (Q1-Q3: 29-45) and 65% were female. All but one were seen as outpatients and the most frequent reason for consultation was routine screening. Considering that Chagas disease can be transmitted outside endemic regions and that there is effective treatment for some stages of the infection, all migrants from Latin America (excluding the Caribbean) should be questioned about past exposure to the parasite and should undergo serological testing if infection is suspected. .


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