These Deadly Insects Attack Victims At Night, Killing Them Quietly Or Leaving Them With A Lifelong Infection

Emiliana Rodriguez recalls watching friends play soccer late at night as a child. One of the players passed away while the game was still going on.

Since Rodrguez, a native of Bolivia, didn’t know what had happened, she started to fear the night, and the silent killer known as Chagas, a “monster” she had been told, only emerged at night.

Rodrguez’s acquaintance was one of the 12,000 people who perish each year from Chagas, a distinct kind of monster known as a “silent and silenced disease” spread by nocturnal insects and affecting up to 8 million people annually.

Emiliana Rodrguez, 42, still has Chagas disease, which she describes to as a “monster,” despite moving from Bolivia to Barcelona 27 years ago.

“The terror frequently struck at night. I occasionally didn’t sleep,” she admitted. “I was worried that I would fall asleep and not awaken.”

Eight years ago, when Rodriguez was expecting her first child, she discovered she was a Chagas disease carrier.

In recalling the passing of her friend, she continued, “I was paralyzed with shock and remembered all the stories my ancestors told me about people suddenly dying. I thought, “What’s going to happen to my baby?”

Rodriguez, however, underwent medication to prevent the parasite from infecting her pregnant child via the placenta. The test result for her infant daughter was negative.

Before her daughter was diagnosed with the silent killer, Elvira Idalia Hernández Cuevas, a mother of an 18-year-old in Mexico, had never heard of Chagas.

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