Assassin Bugs in Canada?


Although “Chagas disease is endemic in parts of Central and South America, where it has already infected up to 20 million people and kills more than 50,000 every year” (“Silent Killer“; Sharon Kirkey; Ottawa Citizen; 2007/06/11), “Chagas isn’t a reportable illness in Canada; its prevalence is unknown” and most frontline doctorswould not know Chagas to see it.”

Dana Devine (Canadian Blood Services; VP of medical, scientific and research affairs) is reported to have said that “no one really understands what the scope of the problem may or may not be for blood systems in North America.” And a 2002 report by the Health Canada blue ribbon committee on blood-borne parasitic diseases is reported to state that “the risks of these pathogens finding their way into the Canadian blood supply is genuine, and likely to escalate” because of changing immigration patterns and increased travel.

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