Chagas Disease and Climate Change


After our climate change discussion this past week, I thought this article would be interesting and relevant. This article is from Medical News Today and discusses Chagas Disease and the potential for more cases in the US due to climate change. 

The article has an intriguing lede, though the nut graph seems to be pretty insignificant. It takes a while for the journalist to begin telling us why Chagas Disease is a problem now, and doesn’t write about climate change very much even though that is what the article is about. 

After reading this article, do you think that it could have been shortened and just as effective?  

Is this article more about climate change or warning signs of Chagas Disease?

Any other thoughts?


See you Wednesday!


-Joanie Leider


4 Responses to “Chagas Disease and Climate Change”

  1. You’re absolutely right about the lede. It is by far one of the best ones I’ve seen from the articles posted to this blog. Charles Darwin and our present climate crisis are seemingly unrelated, and the author’s ability to connect the 150+ years that separate them is both creative and effective.

    I do think the nut graph is actually well designed. Granted, it appears that this resurgence of Chagas will have no effect on most Americans, but that is not the flaw of the writer. A disease that has not really taken hold here doesn’t come with any intriguing accounts or startling statistics. What makes this article so important is that it’s ahead of the curve and appropriately conveys this new trend with a mild sense of severity.

    While the content is not overwhelmingly frightening, I finished this piece feeling more stunned than I ought to be. This belongs with a news service that caters to a wider audience.

    -Alex Leader

  2. Like the previous statements, I found the lede to be very interesting. It was unusual but also relevant and immediately put the issue into context. With the lede, we see how people outside of lab workers and South American residents may have been affected.

    On the other hand, I do think this article was a little on the long side. I found my attention wandering at times. I think it would have been helpful to have some more concrete details of the medical effects, perhaps a quote from someone with Chagas. It gave many helpful statistics of how many people are affected and where, but the numbers and reports seemed too scientific for me to be concerned.

    I also thought the kicker was a little weak. It talked about how the study would expand which I thought was important but I felt no sense of urgency as a reader. Would we know more about Chagas in the US in a year? 5 years? 10 years? What are the financial aspects of the new testing methods and how will this affect the study? I think these are some questions that still need to be addressed.

  3. I think one of the most important things we’ve talked about in class recently is having your articles answer “Why now?” Unfortunately, I think that answering that question took a lot of patience on the readers part, because the length of the article really pulled away from the important points. The title implies that the main point is that climate change could really alter people’s lives right now, but reading the article that isn’t the case at all. In fact, I think the author did a pretty poor job of hiding that this isn’t really an issue right now, especially with the quotes that were used. I do agree that the leded was engaging, but the history and details of the disease seemed to take away from what the article meant to say; “Climate Change Changes Your Health”.

  4. Although this lede was creative in the way it tied together two seemingly unrelated topics, I felt that it went on for a little too long. For example the second quote from Darwin isn’t necessary for either the reader’s attention or the point of the article. The nut graph needed to be introduced earlier in the article. However, I’m also having a hard time identifying the nut graph because there is no paragraph that encompasses the full span of the article and its target issue in one condensed area. The article definitely could have been shortened and more to the point. It also needs more information from climate experts as it concentrates a little too much on the scientists studying the insects.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s