Daisy Hernández (The Kissing Bug) and Dr. Rachel Marcus discuss Chagas, the rare and devastating parasite-borne illness that is prevalent in the U.S. Latinx community. In The Kissing Bug Hernández shares her family’s loss to the disease and her own research into how poverty, racism, and public policies have conspired to keep this disease hidden. April 14 was designated World Chagas Disease Day by the World Health Organization and Chagas Disease Awareness Day in Virginia by the Virginia General Assembly. In conversation with Leah Esslinger.
Watch the video from this event:
- Latin American Society of Chagas—What is Chagas Disease?
- Latin American Society of Chagas—Fact Sheet for Physicians (PDF)
- Texas A&M University—Kissing Bugs & Chagas Disease in the United States: A Community Science Program
“Lyrical, unflinching. . . . Hernández expertly skates the line between memoir and science tome, showing the personal effects of a disease perpetuated by a cascade of systemic failures.” —The Washington Post
“The question The Kissing Bug investigates is timely: Who does the United States take care of, and who does it leave behind? Hernández writes to the heart of the story with immense tenderness, compassion, and intelligence. A riveting read.” —Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
“A trenchant work of investigative journalism. . . . weaving in cultural and political analysis, extensive research, and personal history as she chases down answers about her aunt’s tragic death from an underreported disease known as Chagas.” —Buzzfeed