Mia Maestro raise awareness of Chagas disease

Argentina actress, Mia MaestroArgentine actress Mia Maestro, famous for her lethal spy role on TV series “Alias,” is using her fame to fight a real killer.

The actress is trying to create awareness of Chagas disease, which infects about 12 million people in Central and South America. It causes high fever, swelling, enlargement of the spleen, liver and lymph nodes, and inflammation of the heart.

The disease is spread by a bloodsucking bug that tend to live in the cracks and holes of poorer homes. The parasite may lie dormant for years but can eventually cause inflammation of the heart and possibly death. There is no cure.

Chagas is little known in the US, where about 100,000 have been infected. However there’s 16 to 18 million people that are infected with Chagas worldwide, and about 50,000 die from the disease every year.

Mia Maestro told the Associated Press..

Chagas is a disease that I grew up hearing about because my mum is from the north of Argentina

I’m very familiar with it, but I had no idea few people know about it.

So whatever I can do to raise awareness, I’ll do it.

Mia attended the screening of the documentary “Chagas: A Hidden Affliction,” directed by Ricardo Preve, which opened the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on 7 Oct.