Dr. Alvarez, A Banana Plantation Worker 's Mysterious Ailment
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This case study discusses Adrian Mora, a banana plantation worker’s mysterious ailment. Readers travel along with Adrian through his journey of the mysterious disease, diagnosis, and alternative treatment. The doctor diagnosis Adrian with the Chagas disease, which is endemic to Costa Rica and Central South America. The doctor suggests that Adrian should get admitted to a hospital for treatment however; Adrian refuses because he is an illegal immigrant in Costa Rica. Adrian hesitantly takes the prescription from the doctor but wants alternative way to treat his disease so he would not have to see the doctor again. Finally, Adrian resides to find a plant called gavilana, hoping that the natural medication would cure him. In…show more content… The symptoms of an acute stage of the Chagas disease include swelling near the eyes and mouth, high fever, and difficulty during breathing. During the chronic stage of the Chagas disease, the parasites reach the heart and digestive organs, which can further lead to serious long-term issues that will result in death.
One of the main reasons, Adrian was infected with the Chagas disease was that he lived in an area where the disease vector was present. A description of Adrian’s house on the banana plantation “small wooden houses set on low stilts now lined cleared strips of land between the bananas and the forest edge. Cracks between the slats of the wooden walls and floor allowed dirt and insects to enter the house.”(Santanello and Rehg) The triatomine insects (carrying parasites) live in the cracks of defectively constructed houses in areas near the forest similar to Adrian’s residence. The bugs usually more active during the night and feed on humans around the eyes or mouth because the skin is thinner in those areas. The next section of this case will discuss the treatment of the Chagas disease.
Chagas Disease- Treatment
There are only two drugs presently available to treat the Chagas disease; the two medications (prescription) available are benznidazole and nifurtimox. These medications are only effective if they are prescribed and used during the acute phase of the Chagas disease. When the Chagas disease reaches the chronic phase,