Chagas Disease (American Trypanosomiasis)
Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Chagas Disease (American Trypanosomiasis)
Chagas Disease is a tropical parasitic disease caused by the parasite known as Trypanosoma Cruzi which is transmitted to humans via the bite of some blood sucking species of reduviid insects.

Symptoms of Chagas Disease
The parasite enters the body via a break in the skin, this area will then sustain localized swelling often in the form of a nodule with the disease then affecting the patients lymph nodes. The disease often affects one of the patients eye's which become swollen. Other symptoms include:

In more severe cases the disease can affect internal organs in particular heart, liver and spleen and the digestive tract which can prove fatal.

Sources of Chagas Disease
As well as transmission via the blood sucking reduviid insects, the disease can be spread from infected pregnant women to their unborn child and through infected blood transfusions.

Areas Infected By Chagas Disease
The disease is widely found in Central and South America

Preventing Chagas Disease
Preventing Chagas disease is a case of using insecticide soaked fly nets at night to cover beds, fly screens over windows and the wearing plenty of insect repellents to help prevent being bitten.

Testing For Chagas Disease
Testing For Chagas Disease is achieved through blood tests.

Treatment for Chagas Disease
There are no current vaccine or direct treatments available, so it is a case of treating the symptoms and carefully monitoring for heart related and digestive tract related complications.