For the first time in Canada, three Canadians have been diagnosed with a deadly disease caused by a South American parasite.

As a result, the medical community is worried that thousands of Canadians might be afflicted by Chagas Disease, one of the world's deadliest parasitic diseases.

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Doctors fear that there are thousands of potentially-infected individuals out there, who have yet to be diagnosed.

The disease is transmitted through the blood.

Individuals might get it through transfusion, or because they are born to an infected mother.

Chagas Disease afflicts 6-7 million people worldwide, across 21 countries.

It is the cause of 50,000 deaths a year in South America.

It may lead to sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmia, or progressive heart failure caused by the destruction of the heart muscle.

Anyone who had a blood transfusion between 2009 and 2010 is at risk. As is anyone whose mother was born in a country, where this disease is indigenous.

Authorities are asking people who fall into these categories to be tested.

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