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Chagas Disease

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Synonyms

American trypanosomiasis; Infection with trypanosoma cruzi

Definition

Chagas disease, which is found in Central and South America, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. It is transmitted by the bite of night-active predatory bugs. Up to 10% of the infections take a lethal course. Besides humans, the most common reservoirs of the parasite are armadillos; domestic animals (especially dogs and cats), which do not fall ill themselves, can also be infected. Chagas disease has 4 stages. At first, a local reaction appears at the site of the bite; 2–4 weeks later the acute phase occurs with non-specific symptoms, like fever stomach ache, diarrhea and edemas of the face and the feet. The acute phase is followed by a latency phase, which can last for years. The last stage is the chronic phase. In this phase, inflammations of the heart muscle can appear which might lead to heart insufficiency or cause a sudden cardiac death. Besides the...

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© 2008 Springer-Verlag

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(2008). Chagas Disease . In: Kirch, W. (eds) Encyclopedia of Public Health. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_351

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_351

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4020-5613-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4020-5614-7

  • eBook Packages: MedicineReference Module Medicine