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Chagas Disease

Chagas Disease (Trypanosoma cruzi Infection)

Girl and poorly built hut

Triatomine bugs, the vector for Chagas, can hide in the cracks of poorly built dwellings. (CDC Photo)

Chagas disease is named after the Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, who discovered the disease in 1909. It is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). Chagas disease (T. cruzi infection) is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis.

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Page last modified: October 22, 2008
Page last reviewed: August 29, 2008
Content Source: Division of Parasitic Diseases (DPD)
National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED)