Officials with the Ministry of Health and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) have announced they will perform a fumigation in La Carpio, following the identification of a case of Chagas disease in a 12 year old child. Screening of blood donations has identified 30 to 40 possible cases of Changas, which often goes unnoticed or confused with other diseases.
According to the CDC, in its acute phase, the disease causes enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy), heart failure, altered heart rhythm, and cardiac arrest and/or sudden death. It also causes similar problems in the intestines. An estimated 8 million people are living with the undiagnosed disease in Mexico, Central and South America.
Changas is caused by a parasite that is transmitted by the Triatomine or kissing bug. The bug is known to infest outdoor structures and poorly built homes.