Infectious contagious diseases increase in Latin America

Infectious diseases, also known as infectious diseases or communicable diseases, are disorders caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites, which can be transmitted from one person to another, from animals to humans or through other means, such as food. contaminated or vectors, such as insects.

These diseases spread when the infectious agent comes into contact with a susceptible person, which can occur through direct contact between individuals, ingestion of food or contaminated water, inhalation of particles in the air, the bite of disease-carrying insects, among other means.

Infectious diseases are growing in Latin America due to a combination of factors, including:

  • Demographic changes: Latin America's population is growing and aging, making it more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
  • Climate changes: Climate change is creating favorable conditions for the spread of some disease vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Migration: The movement of people between countries and regions is facilitating the spread of diseases.
  • Poverty and inequality: Poverty and inequality limit access to health care and disease prevention measures.

Some specific examples of infectious diseases found in Latin America:

  • Chagas disease: This disease is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through the feces of an insect known as the kissing bug. Chagas disease can cause a number of health problems, including heart failure, kidney failure, and death.
  • Leishmaniasis: This disease is caused by a parasite that is transmitted through the bite of an insect known as a sand fly. Leishmaniasis can cause a number of health problems, including skin ulcers, mucosal lesions and severe visceral forms that can be fatal.
  • Dengue: This disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito known as Aedes aegypti. Dengue can cause a number of symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and rash.
  • Zika: This disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito known as Aedes aegypti. Zika can cause a number of symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and rash.
  • Yellow fever: This disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito known as Aedes aegypti. Yellow fever can cause a number of symptoms, including fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and rash.
  • Salmonellosis: This infection is caused by bacteria found in contaminated food or water. Salmonellosis can cause a number of symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
  • HIV/AIDS infection: This disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted through sexual contact, blood, and from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. HIV/AIDS can cause a number of health problems, including pneumonia, tuberculosis and cancer.

These factors are contributing to the increase in the following infectious diseases in Latin America:

  • Neglected tropical diseases: These diseases, such as Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and leprosy, are endemic in Latin America and affect millions of people.
  • Emerging and re-emerging diseases: These diseases, such as dengue, Zika and yellow fever, are new or re-emerging in the region.
  • Food and water borne infections: These infections, such as salmonellosis and diarrhea, are caused by bacteria or viruses found in contaminated food or water.

To address the increase in infectious diseases in Latin America, it is necessary to address the factors that are contributing to their spread.

This includes:

  • Investments in public health: Governments must invest in disease prevention and control programs.
  • Improvement of living conditions: Governments must work to reduce poverty and inequality, which will help people access health care and disease prevention measures.
  • Public education: It is important to educate the population about the risks of infectious diseases and how to prevent them.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is working with Latin American governments to address the increase in infectious diseases. PAHO has developed a regional strategy for disease control, which includes measures to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.