Types of Endemic Diseases

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An endemic disease refers a pathological condition entrenched and perpetuated within a population group, a country or continent without any external influences. Regions endemic for certain diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness or Chagas disease have pathogenic organisms such as a virus, bacteria or parasite that are the causative agents for the disease, and a natural vector or reservoir such as a fly which transmits and spreads the disease.

Chagas Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 7.6 million people are infected with Chagas disease. Chagas disease is caused by an infection with Trypanosma cruzi, a protozoan parasite that is transmitted via the feces of the triatomine insect, a natural vector for the parasite, Trypanosma cruzi. Chagas disease is endemic in Mexico, South and Central America. Chagas disease is divided into three stages: an acute phase that lasts up to 90 days and is mostly asymptomatic; an asymptomatic intermediate phase; and a chronic phase that appears 10 to 20 years after the initial infection. The chronic phase of Chagas disease is associated with congestive heart failure, and about 20 to 30 percent of individuals affected with Chagas disease will develop heart problems. Antitrypanosomal drugs such as benznidazole and nifurtimox are prescribedorthe treatment of Chagas disease.


Maralia is an infectious disease endemic to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Malaria is caused by the protozoan parasites belonging to the Plasmodium genus and are transmitted via the bite of an infected female mosquito. According to Tulane University, about 200 to 500 million people are infected with malaria and about 1.5 to 2.7 million people die each year from malaria infections. Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents for malaria infections, destroy red blood cells in the spleen and liver, leading to anemia and death if left untreated. Drugs such as chloroquinone, proguanil, malarone and lariam are prescribed for the treatment of malaria.

African Sleeping Sickness

African sleeping sickening is a medical condition caused by protozoan parasites belonging the Trypanosoma genus. These parasites are transmitted via the bite of an infected tsetse fly. According to the World Health Organization, African sleeping sickness is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and the disease is caused by two different species of the Trypanosoma genus. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense causes 90 percent of all reported African sleeping sickness and is endemic in west and central Africa. Trypanosoma brcei rhodesiense causes less than 10 percent of all reported cases of African sleeping sickness and is endemic in east and southern Africa. The initial phase of infection is characterized by headaches, a fever, joint paint and sweating. During the second phase of infection, the parasite invades the central nervous system and causes symptoms such as confusion, disturbance of the sleep cycle and poor coordination. Drugs such as pentamidine, suramin, melasporpol and eflornithine are prescribed for the treatment of African sleeping sickness.