Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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American Trypanosomiasis Overview

Another name for American Trypanosomiasis is Chagas Disease.

What is Chagas disease?
A person with Chagas disease has an infection caused by the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite causes inflammation and damage to the intestines and heart. Chagas disease is a leading cause of congestive heart failure in Latin America. Trypanosoma is spread to humans by an insect bite.

What are the symptoms of Chagas disease?
Symptoms of Chagas disease during the acute phase include swelling and redness around the bite. Additional symptoms of Chagas disease during the acute phase include fever, lymph gland swelling, facial swelling, and heart palpitations. Years later, symptoms of congestive heart failure can develop.

How does the doctor treat Chagas disease?
Treatment for Chagas disease may include aspirin, low salt diet, antiparasitic medications, and ACE inhibitors. Heart transplant may be offered in severe cases of chronic CHF.

Continue to American Trypanosomiasis Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed American Trypanosomiasis References
  1. Andersson J. Molecular diagnosis of experimental Chagas disease. Trends Parasitol. 2004 Feb;20(2):52-3. [14747014]
  2. Barrett MP, Burchmore RJ, et al. The trypanosomiases. Lancet. 2003 Nov 1;362(9394):1469-80. [14602444]
  3. Olliaro P, Lazdins J, Guhl F. Developments in the treatment of leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2002 May;7(1):61-7. [15989536]
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