An Amibitious Couple's Blog Experiment

Increased Chagas Rate Due to Guinea Pig Feasts

Chagas is a deadly disease that is claiming an increased number of lives in South American countries, like Peru. Taking into consideration that chagas is an extremely difficult disease to catch, the increased number of cases had the medical community scratching its head as the they searched for the answer.
The answer was discovered when the medical community took notice of Peru’s yearly guinea pig feasts.
Kissing bugs are the carriers of chagas and they live around guinea pigs, their favorite animal for bite and feed off of. The only way to become infected with chagas is if a kissing bug bites a person, defecates in the bite, then the person scratches the bite with the feces in it. The feces are loaded with a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi and the scratching motion releases the parasite into the open bite and they make their way inside the person’s body. However, even when all those steps are carried out, only 1 out of every 1,700 people who are bitten by a kissing bug will contact chagas.
Guinea pigs are raised as a food source in Peru and their main diet is alfalfa says Madison Street Capital. During the dry summer month, the price of alfalfa increases and people kill and eat their guinea pigs instead of paying the higher alfalfa prices. The guinea pig population is drastically reduced, infected kissing bugs are biting and re-biting the few guinea pigs left, infecting them and the cycle is making the bite of the kissing bug much more potent to humans.

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