Vice News

Dr. Peter Hotez says negelcted tropical diseases pose a larger threat to the U.S. than Ebola. 

"But while there won't be Ebola epidemic in the US, I am very concerned about the neglected tropical diseases now affecting the US Gulf Coast. They're widespread, but because they occur predominantly among Americans who live in extreme poverty, very few people know about them.

I estimate that at least 12 million Americans suffer from at least one neglected tropical disease.
 
Chagas is one example. Caused by a parasitic micro-organism known as a trypanosome that lives in heart tissue and can be transmitted by the kissing bug, Chagas affects an estimated 300,000 Americans. In the end stages of the disease, the parasite causes cardiomyopathy, in which the heart enlarges and fails to pump blood; this is associated with a high mortality rate and sudden death. We are finding lots of cases here in Texas, many among people who have not traveled abroad. A high percentage of dogs are infected, and we have recently reported that Chagas might affect hunters and campers in particular."