Chagas disease awareness among Latin American immigrants living in Los Angeles, California

Daniel R. Sanchez, Mahmoud I. Traina, Salvador Hernandez, Aiman M. Smer, Haneen Khamag, Sheba K. Meymandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Approximately 300,000 persons have Chagas disease in the United States, although almost all persons acquired the disease in Latin America. We examined awareness of Chagas disease among Latin American immigrants living in Los Angeles, California. We surveyed 2,677 persons (age range = 18-60 years) in Los Angeles who resided in Latin America for at least six months. A total of 62% of the participants recalled seeing triatomines in Latin America, and 27% of the participants reported triatomine bites at least once per year while living abroad. A total of 86% of the participants had never heard of Chagas disease. Of persons who had heard of Chagas disease, 81% believed that it was not serious. More than 95% of those who had heard of Chagas disease would want to be tested and treated. Most Latin American immigrants living in Los Angeles recalled exposure to vectors of Chagas disease. However, they have little knowledge of this disease. Increasing awareness of Chagas disease is needed in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-919
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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