Knowledge of Chagas disease in a bolivian population living in Valencia, Spain

Vanesa Salvador-Gil, Ana I. Usero-Ruiz, Julio Muñoz-Miguel, Rafael Manuel Ortí-Lucas


Fundamentals: Migration movements between countries have enabled the extension of Chagas disease to non-endemic countries such as Spain, where only recently there has been awareness of this emerging global disease and procedures have been put in place for its management. The objective of this study is to determine the level of knowledge of Chagas disease, its symptoms, means of transmission and places where seropositive residents in Valencia (Spain) may seek medical assistance. 

Methods: Observational cross-sectional study of 96 Bolivian migrants living in Valencia (Spain). The sample was randomly selected and taking advantage of the bolivian elections in 2014. A specific epidemiological survey was conducted and screening blood tests were carried out using ELISA and confirmatory diagnosis by indirect immunofluorescence. After the bivariate analysis, logistic regression models were created to determine the variables that accounted for the lack of knowledge of the disease.

Results: The prevalence of Chagas was 35.4%. However, 24% of the total sample and 26.1% of seropositive participants do not know about the disease and 70.8% of participants do not know about the symptoms of the disease. While 58.3% (41.1% of seropositive participants) ignore what the means of transmission in non-endemic countries are and 47.1% do not know where to seek medical attention. This ignorance is predominant in participants over 45 years of age and with lower levels of education.

Conclusions: There is an important lack of knowledge of the disease which, along with the issue of a high prevalence, elevates Chagas disease into being a potential public health problem which requires specific control and preventive measures.

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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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