Chagas (CHAH-gus) disease is an inflammatory, infectious disease caused by a parasite found in the feces of the triatomine (reduviid) bug. Chagas disease is common in South America, Central America and Mexico, the primary home of the triatomine bug. Rare cases of Chagas disease have been found in the southern United States, as well.
Also called American trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease can infect anyone, but is diagnosed most often in children. Left untreated, Chagas disease later can cause serious heart and digestive problems.
Treatment of Chagas disease focuses on killing the parasite in acute infection and managing signs and symptoms in later stages. You can take steps to prevent the infection, too.
June 07, 2014
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- Ribeiro AL, et al. Diagnosis and management of Chagas disease and cardiomyopathy. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2012;9:576.
- Chagas disease: Detailed FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/gen_info/detailed.html. Accessed March 12, 2014.
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- Beryn C. Chagas disease: Management of acute disease, early chronic disease, and disease in immunocompromised hosts. http:www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2014.
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