What is American Trypanosomiasis?

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My cousin caught American trypanosomiasis. What is that?

4 Answers

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American trypanosomiasis is also known as Chagas disease. It is an inflammatory, infectious disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is found in the feces of the triatomine bug. If left untreated, Chagas disease can cause serious heart and digestive problems.

The acute phase of Chagas disease often lasts for weeks or months. The signs and symptoms are usually mild, including:

Swelling at the infection site




Body aches

Eyelid swelling


Loss of appetite

Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting

Swollen glands

Enlargement of your liver or spleen

Signs and symptoms of the chronic phase of Chagas disease may occur 10 to 20 years after initial infection. They may include:

Irregular heartbeat

Congestive heart failure

Sudden cardiac arrest

Difficulty swallowing due to enlarged esophagus

Abdominal pain or constipation due to enlarged colon

Treatment of Chagas disease focuses on killing the parasite in acute infection and managing signs and symptoms in later stages. You can take steps to prevent the infection, too.

How can I prevent the infection?
Prevention strategies include:
Avoid sleeping in a mud, thatch or adobe house
Use insecticide-soaked netting over your bed
Use insecticides to remove insects from your residence
Use insect repellent on exposed skin

My sister has American trypanosomiasis. She's in Jersey. She is worrying whether she can have a baby.

I think you must treat yourself first and have baby then, after you get rid of Chagas parasitemia. And after your baby born, don't forget to give them vaccine.
There is a very real possibility of transmission to newborns. The two primary drugs used to treat it, nifurtimox (Lampit) and benznidazole (Radanil) can't be used during pregnancy. Speak to your infectious disease doctor and your OB/Gyn.
I'm 20 and I’m in Texas, where this disease has spread rapidly. I had a recent experience that after urinating I noticed an unidentifiable bug in the toilet. It was a bit bigger than the average house fly, smaller than a bee, and had an ant-like body. My doc said it was a triatome bug.

During the acute phase of Chagas disease, the prescription medications benznidazole and nifurtimox may be of benefit.
Once Chagas disease reaches the chronic phase, medications won't cure the disease. But, the drugs may be offered to people younger than age 50 because they may help slow the progression of the disease and its most serious complications.
Additional treatment depends on the specific signs and symptoms:
Heart-related complications. Treatment may include medications, a pacemaker or other devices to regulate your heart rhythm, surgery or even a heart transplant.
Digestive-related complications. Treatment may include diet modification, medications, corticosteroids or, in severe cases, surgery.