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Chagas Disease
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Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a flagellate protozoan parasite. This organism belongs to the taxonomic family Trypanosomatidae within the order Kinetoplastida. It exhibits a high level of intraspecific variation, making it a difficult disease for scientists to battle. Chagas, because it often causes early mortality and disability in youth, imposes a high economic cost on the countries where the disease is found. HISTORY Chagas" disease is named after the man who productively researched the affliction in northern Brazil during the building of the railroad in 1909. Dr. Carlos Chagas found the cause of the disease to be...
as "non- eradicable".


Although still rare in the United States, Chagas" disease is a complex and lethal disease. Treatable only in the acute form, which is often missed due to its subtle and nonspecific symptoms, it causes life-long infection with potentially catastrophic consequences of sudden death and intractable congestive heart failure. New modes of transmission due to population migration and transfusion of blood products have also altered the epidemiology of the disease. It is probable that in the near future, emergency physicians in the United States will encounter Chagas" disease with increasing frequency among their patients.

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