(a variety of diseases)

Diseases once thought to be rare or exotic in the United States are now gaining a presence and they are getting new attention from medical researchers who are trying to determine how immigration, limited access to medical care, and the impacts of climate change are influencing their spread.

More Americans are traveling, and as tropical vacationers return home, they may unknowingly bring back dangerous souvenirs. Immigrants from endemic regions are also bringing in these diseases, some of which can lie dormant for years. Meantime, the flies, ticks and mosquitoes that spread these illnesses are moving north as rising temperatures make new areas more acceptable to them.

—Compiled from information presented in the article
"Exotic Diseases from Warmer Climates Gain Foothold in U.S.,
Climate change is helping make the U.S. more hospitable for diseases
ranging from Chagas to dengue fever";
Scientific American by Umair Irfan and ClimateWire; June 4, 2012.
Chagas disease (s) (noun)
An infection caused by a single-celled parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. "Chagas disease is also called American trypanosomiasis which is transmitted by reduviid bugs, or kissing bugs, that live in cracks and holes of substandard housing primarily found in South and Central America."

"These insects become infected after biting an animal or a human who already has Chagas disease."

Infection is spread to humans when an infected bug deposits feces on a person's skin, usually while he or she is sleeping at night. The person often accidently rubs the feces into the bite wound, an open cut, the eyes, or mouth."

"Infected mothers can pass the infection to their baby during pregnancy, at delivery, or while breastfeeding."

"Chagas disease causes swelling at the infection site and, if left untreated, develops into a chronic illness that can be asymptomatic or unfelt in most people and can cause digestive, heart, and nervous system failures in other people."

Chikungunya (CHICK-n-gunya) (s) (noun)
An urban disease resembling dengue fever, seen mainly in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia, caused by an arbovirus (class of viruses transmitted to humans by arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks) transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes: "The most prominent frequent feature is severe arthritis. It is a disease that means "that which bends up" in the Makonde language in East Africa, since the afflicted are often contorted from joint pains."

"Chikungunya fever is characterized by sudden onset, chills and fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, arthralgia, and rash."

"The disease is spread by mosquitoes, particularly the Asian tiger mosquito, an invasive species that is expanding from the southeastern United States and may reach as far north as New York."

"The danger of Chikungunya virus being introduced into the Americas is becoming increasingly a realty."

dengue (s) (noun) [also called: breakbone fever, dandy fever, dengue fever]
An acute, infectious tropical disease caused by an arbovirus (viruses transmitted by arthropods; such as, mosquitoes and ticks) and characterized by high fever, rash, headache, and severe muscle and joint pains.
schistosomiasis (s) (noun), schistosomiases (pl)
Any of various generally tropical diseases caused by infestation with schistosomes (worms), widespread in rural areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America from contaminated water, and characterized by infection and gradual destruction of the tissues of the kidneys, liver, and other organs.