Overview

Chagas (CHAH-gus) disease is an inflammatory, infectious disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is 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. 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 10, 2017
References
  1. Longo DL, et al., eds. Chagas disease and African trypanosomiasis. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  2. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Protozoal and helminthic infections. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2017. 56th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  3. Chagas disease: Detailed FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/chagas/gen_info/detailed.html. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  4. Beryn C. Chagas disease: Management of acute disease, early chronic disease, and disease in immunocompromised hosts. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 19, 2017.