VINCHUCA infection

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Bjansson
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VINCHUCA infection

Post by Bjansson » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:29 am

Hello

Most of the foreigners who use this forum seem to live in the south of Chile. I do not know if this insect is to be found more south than Concepcion.

Anyhow, from Santiago and all way up to Arica is its natural habitat. It is to be found in all arid aerias both in rural and urban places. It is DANGEROUS and you can find it anywhere. About 2 cm long, looks like a croach, normally black, with red lines on the wings.

It is attracted by the heat (infrared) of all animals and human beings. It bites and suck blood like a mosquito until it becomes round and big like a nut. so far no promblem, but then it turns around to "SHIT" on the open wound on the skin.

All vinchucas are not infected, but in rural aereas with domestic animals, goats, donkeys, chicken, dogs etcthey normally are all infected.

The infection they cause to us is called CHAGAS, and has a very long incubation time. If you get stung by one, or bitten, and you can find it full of blood, you must NEVER KILL IT. Capture it and send it to analyse at La Universidad the Chile in Santiago. Their laboratry can check if it is infected. But can only be tested alive.
If not infected, nothing more to worry about.

If infected, the medical treatment must start within 1 to 2 months. After 6 months, it is too late, and the bacterias will affect you for the rest of your life with no existing cure. Be aware!

The problem is, that if you get the infection, without kknowing it, similar to Aids, it can take very long time until any symptoms occur, up to 6 - 8 YEARS, and at this late time, no cure exist.

The bacterias do specially affect the tissue walls of the heart, and the heart muscle walls become thinner and thinner until it gets perforated, and with obvious consequences. Can also affect most of the organs inside the body, and the brain. A slow death.

How common is this CHAGAS. Well, it is estimated that about 20-30 Million people in South America are infected.
At my work up in the Atacama desert, several of my colleauges vere carrier of the decease.
Myself was stung once inside a dormitory. On the wall above my bed I found it swollen up to a ball with blood, and about 1 cm in diameter. So it had a nice meal from my foot.........
Luckilly, it became so large that it could not escape through the tiny hole where it entered, so I could cath it in a little plastic box, and send it of for analysis. In my case it was not infected so I am still fine.

I believ this info is very important for anyone who lives say north of Conception.

Thanks for reading.

Regards

Borgar

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MikieO
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by MikieO » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:46 am

Thanks Borgar, I had heard about Chagas and how it used to be more common but had no idea that it was transmitted by insect. For clarification, this vinchuca thing is usually 2 cm?
Here's a brief summary I just looked up, damn!
http://www.travelclinicoregon.com/chagas.htm
“Now, a lifetime of experience has left me bitter and cynical.” ~ Calvin & Hobbes

Bjansson
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by Bjansson » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:50 am

Yes, about that as fully adult.

Leaving my office now to go to the PUB for a pint now.
Will be back on-line on Monday again.

Cheers

Borgar

Bjansson
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by Bjansson » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:08 pm

Hi again

I started this issue not to scare the people, only to give information about an important issue that can affect newcommers who have never been informed about the risk.

As i said in the first posting, I spent 18 years in the "Norte chico", and never cauth the bug,

Please enjoy the lovely country, but take care.

regards

Borgar Jansson

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admin
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by admin » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:36 pm

No Chile is one of the only countries the WHO has certified Chagas free after something like a 20 year campaign to eradicate it by the Chilean government. Somewhere on the forum I had link to an article on the topic with the recent survey numbers for the insect presence in Chile. In any case, I have never seen one or even heard of anyone that has been infected with it, in the south or anywhere else.

The presence of it is nothing like say Honduras or other central American countries where I heard they estimate something like 50% population or more is potentially infected.

One thing that I think helps is that Chileans generally don't live in the sorts of homes that are conducive to the bug. The open air thatch / tin roof style homes just are not common anywhere in Chile. Even old adobe type construction is fairly modernized now, simply because a lot of the original adobe type constructions did not last.
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Kel
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Echinococcosis, hydatid disease

Post by Kel » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:03 pm

As a health professional, I find these Chilean diseases interesting. Here are some more.

1) There are a number of parasitic diseases. Here are a few:

Echinococcosis, also known as hydatid disease. A friend told me she had this as a child and this caused me to do some research. When I did a MEDLINE search, I was very suprised recently to discover that this parasite is actually considered hyperendemic in Chile. You can find the executive summary at the CDC website here: http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/Frames ... _page1.htm In school I saw a video of a surgery to remove this parasite and I've never forgotten it. I don't think any of my classmates have either. But I thought it was only hyperendemic in Africa!

This parasite will grow in the lungs, liver, brain or other locations in the human body. It is spread through dog feces and contaminated water. City water should be safe but if you are in the country, filter or boil your water, if you care. Also avoid eating dog feces! :)

It causes large calcified cysts to grow over many years and is difficult to treat. It becomes symptomatic years after it is acquired. Frequently the only effective treatment is surgical removal which is problematic in the lungs liver or brain. It is more commonly acquired in children because of their tendency to eat dirt and sample feces when they find it. Age 6 is the most common age at which it becomes symptomatic.

I asked a Chilean doc in Patagonia how often he sees these two parasitic infections. He told me he only sees a couple of cases a year of each. That should help put this in perspective. They aren't that common. He said the Chilean government has instituted programs to eliminate this but it hasn't been entirely effective. One practice that increased the spread was that slaughter houses would feed the discarded meat to dogs. If you look at the life-cycle of this parasite, you can see how this would increase the spread. This practice is supposed to be illegal in Chile now but private homes aren't necessarily in compliance.

Cystocercosis is a another parasite that is acquired from eating uncooked meat--especially pork. In humans it can grow in muscle or brain tissue. The latter is very difficult to treat. Avoid undercooked meat.

2) There are several poisonous spiders. One is larger relative of the fiddleback which is in the Midwest ot the USA also. It lives on dark corners all over Chile and has a bite that can kill a child or cause the skin to slough off at the site. My friend in town here is deathly afraid of them.

There is also a certain spider that grows in grain fields whose bite will give you a permanent painful erection. There isn't apparently a good treatment for this. Not common anywhere, especially southern Chile. Perhaps they could tone this down a bit and replace <SPAM WORD>!

Kel
Taking aim from the grassy knoll...

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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by admin » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:22 pm

There is also a certain spider that grows in grain fields whose bite will give you a permanent painful erection. There isn't apparently a good treatment for this. Not common anywhere, especially southern Chile. Perhaps they could tone this down a bit and replace <SPAM WORD>!
Yea, you would think the pharmaceutical companies would be all over this. Perhaps they are worried it would collapse the market for <SPAM WORD>, if word got out. I can just imagine my email in box filled with spider spam.
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jehturner
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by jehturner » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:56 pm

Up here, people have told me that officially Chagas is eradicated, but they were skeptical as to whether the government really believes that, on the basis that whenever a Vinchuca beetle is caught it is still sent for testing.

Bjansson
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by Bjansson » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:36 am

Hi again,

Back to work. It has been interesting to follow the different posts regarding this issue.
Regarding the spider that can cause erection, it is so well known in Chile by all people, that when someone gets very exited about a woman, the expression is" Me parece que te pico una arana..........

About chagas, it is only nonsens to say that it does not exist anymore. Several of my wife's family member who live in rural aereas are infected.
For a month ago, the youngest son of my wife's sister who lives in Calama, was found with chagas, and he is only 8 years old.

There has been huge large scale activity to eliminate the risk, spraying with insecticide house after house, but that is mainly where there are many houses together in small villages. Those living part away in the country do still live under that threat.

Anyhow, as soon as we are born, we live under the risk to die, whereever we happen to live....................... :roll:

Borgar 18 years in La Serena

Cheers

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eeuunikkeiexpat
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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:27 pm

Chagas now has established itself in the lower half of the USA including Hawaii
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... le-6091143
Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 4.26.05 PM.jpg


Remember, this beetle is NOT your friend:
5b7c5769959f341c008b536d_750_5.jpg
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BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

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Re: VINCHUCA infection

Post by admin » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:30 pm

Yea seen that article go by. I am sure just the number of imimgrants from countries with heavy chagas infected countries can account for that number or more in the u.s.; but, hey who knows?

Nothing like making health care system too expensive to use to improve tracking diese outbreaks.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/23/heres-a ... he-us.html

When one of the major health crisis goes nuclear in the states, they are never ever going to see it coming. It will be way way too late.

I might not like the public hospitals in chile for medical services, but they have them, and most are relatively good. More importantly everyone can use them.
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