Journal of International and Global Studies


There are between 8 and 11 million cases of America Human Trypanosomiasis, commonly known as Chagas disease, in Latin America. Chagas is endemic in southern Peru, especially the Arequipa region, where it has expanded from poor, rural areas to periurban communities. This paper summarizes the findings of four studies in periurban Arequipa: on determinants of disease-vector infestation; on prevalence, spatial patterns, and risk factors of Chagas; on links between migration, settlement patterns, and disease-vector infestation; and on the relationship between discordant test results and spatially clustered transmission hotspots. These studies identified two risk factors associated with the disease: population dynamics and the urbanization of poverty. Understanding the disease within this new urban context will allow for improved public health prevention efforts and policy initiatives. Discovered in 1909 by Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, American Human Trypanosomiasis is a chronic and potentially life-threatening illness found throughout Latin America (Moncayo, 2003). Indeed, it is estimated that there are between 8 and 11 million cases in Mexico and Central and South America (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2009). Chagas disease, as it is most commonly known, is endemic in southern Peru, especially in the region of Arequipa. Once thought to be limited to poor, rural areas, the disease is now appearing in the periurban communities that surround Arequipa City, the capital of the region (Cornejo del Carpio, 2003). Understanding the urbanization of Chagas disease will allow public health and medical professionals to better combat the further transmission of the disease. After providing an overview of Chagas and introducing the scope of the disease in Latin America, this paper will summarize the findings of four recent studies conducted in periurban districts in Arequipa. Ultimately, this paper seeks to identify the risk factors associated with Chagas infection in Arequipa’s periurban communities.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.