An estimated 16 to 18 million people worldwide are infected with Chagas disease. It is most commonly seen in South America, Middle America, and Mexico. American trypanosomiasis is spread by Triatome bugs (or “kissing’ bugs) that live in cracks and holes of substandard housing from the southern United States to southern Argentina. Triatome bugs defecate while blood-feeding, and if the insect is infected with the parasite, the parasite can enter the bloodstream when the host scratches the bite wound.
Chagas Disease/American Trypanosomiasis is not a reportable disease in Oklahoma.