This paper describes a health education project targeting a rural community and health professionals from counties undergoing epidemiological surveillance for Chagas disease vectors in the State of Paraná, Brazil. A group of technicians from the Brazilian National Health Foundation (FUNASA) was trained, together with teachers, workers, and students from the State University of Maringá, who prepared an instructions manual and drew up guidelines for reporting presence of triatomines or suspected cases of Trypanosoma cruziinfection. From June 1996 through February 2000, the activities reached 742 families, 2,300 schoolchildren, and 27 teachers from 18 elementary schools, and included a meeting between FUNASA members and 40 participants, 21 meetings in health centers, and provision of a set of preserved triatomine specimens for use in vector surveillance and identification. After three years of health education activities and insecticide treatment (cipermetrina 125 mg i.a./m2), there was a reduction of 80.6% in households infested with triatomines and increased awareness among rural residents and health workers. The authors discuss the need to train professionals committed to changing Brazil's prevailing health model.
Objective. Since data are scarce regarding secondary triatomine species in the Brazilian state of Paraná, this study investigated infestations in inhabited and abandoned houses and in various other (19/62, or 30.6%), followed by chicken coops (24/350, or 6.9%). The primary food source of the triatomines was the blood of birds. Nevertheless, in the municipality with the highest density of triatomines, the food sources included domestic animals and even humans. We found that 13.4% of the T. sordida and 13.5% of the P. megistus were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi.
Conclusions. These results demonstrate the need to maintain entomological surveillance measures in the studied areas. This is especially important since Brazil and other countries of Latin America have affirmed the need to interrupt the vector-borne transmission of Chagas' disease.Triatominae, Chagas' disease, Brazil, epidemiological surveillance.
In response to complaints of triatomines on islands of the Alto Paraná River, an investigation to determine the presence of triatomines was conducted in 145 artificial ecotopes and 4 (2.8%) were infested, comprising a residence, a sports and leisure club, a former school and a woodpile. Of the 35 P. megistus collected, 17 were analyzed and 12 (70.6%) were found to be infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Birds and rodents were the most common food sources. All serologic examinations (56 human, 18 dogs and 10 cats) were negative.
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