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Chagas disease


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • American trypanosomiasis
  • New world trypanosomiasis
  • South American trypanosomiasis
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Chagas disease is caused by the parasiteTrypanosoma cruzi. When a triatomine bug (commonly known as a "kissing bug") infected with this parasite bites you, usually on your face, it leaves behind infected waste which can be spread into your eyes, nose, or a wound. Chagas disease can also spread through contaminated food, a blood transfusion, a donated organ or from mother to baby during pregnancy. Symptoms can include fever, flu-like symptoms, a rash or swollen eyelid. Early symptoms usually go away but if not treated, the infection can later cause serious intestinal and heart problems. Chagas disease is common in Latin America but not in the United States.[1]
Last updated: 3/4/2014


  1. US National Library of Medicine. Chagas Disease. Medlineplus. February 25, 2014; Accessed 3/4/2014.
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Basic Information

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) produces guidelines and standards, helps countries to address public health issues, and supports and promotes health research. The WHO has developed a fact sheet on this condition. To view the fact sheet, click on the link.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Chagas disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.