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Drug For ‘Neglected’ Chagas Disease Gains FDA Approval Amid Price Worries
National Public Radio

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first U.S. treatment for childhood cases of Chagas disease — a parasite-driven illness that, over time and unless treated early, can cause serious heart problems in about a third of the people it infects.

There are perhaps 300,000 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the illness is much more common in Latin America, where it affects millions.

“It’s a chronic, debilitating infection that’s also a killer,” says Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “People can be infected with this parasite that causes Chagas — Trypanosoma cruzi — for years or even decades, oftentimes without knowing.”