Chagas’ disease (American trypanosomiasis, see Chagas’ Disease)

Parasitic Diseases, Protozoans
More Information

Animals Involved

Opossums, lagomorphs, rodents, armadillos, dogs, cats, other wild and domestic mammals

Known Distributions

Western hemisphere—southern USA, Mexico, Central and South America

Probable Means of Spreading

Fecal material of reduviid bug in family Triatomidae contaminates bite wounds, abrasions, or mucous membranes; ingestion in contaminated food

Clinical Manifestations in People

Acute disease—erratic fever, adenopathy, headache, myalgia, hepatosplenomegaly, swelling at inoculation site and eyelid; myocarditis or encephalitis in some; worse in immunocompromised

Chronic form (in 10%–30% of patients)— cardiomyopathy, megaesophagus, megacolon, other forms; reported annual mortality rate in chronic form 0.2%–19% (higher rates from studies that include only cardiac patients)

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