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What parasite causes Chagas Disease

Trypanosoma cruzi


What is Chagas Disease sometimes referred to as

American Trypanosomiasis


Transmission of Chagas Disease

1) main way is vector borne transmission by the Triatomine Bugs
2) Congenital transmission
3) Organ Transplant
4) Consumption of uncooked food contaminated w/feces from infected bugs
5)accidental lab exposure


Mode of Transmission for vector borne transmission

1) Triatomine Bugs (kissing bugs) are blood sucking bugs that get infected by biting an infected animal or person
2) once infected, the bugs pass T. cruz in their feces
3) Bugs emerge at night
4) after they bite and ingest blood, they defecate on the person
5) person becomes infected if the parasite enters the body through mucus membranes or breaks in the skin


Where is Chagas Disease found?

-Found worldwide
- Vectorborne transmission is confined to the Americas; rural areas in parts of mexico, central and south america


Signs and Symptoms of Chagas Disease

1) Acute phase
2) Chronic phase


Acute phase of Chagas Disease

-last a few weeks or months
-usually asymptomatic or exhibits mild symptoms and signs that are not unique to Chagas disease
-symptoms- fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, and rash
-physical signs- mild enlargement of liver or spleen, swollen glands, and local swelling where parasite entered the body
**Romana Sign- most recognizable marker; swelling of the eyelids of the side of the face near the bite wound or where the bug feces were deposited


Chronic Phase

-May remain silent for decades or life
1) Cardiac complications: enlarge heart (cariomyelopathy), heart failure, altered heart rhythm, cardiac arrest (death)
2) Intestinal complications- enlarged esophagus or coon and can lead to difficulties with eating or passing stool


Diagnosis of Chagas disease

EKG and anti parasitic medication