Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Chagas disease


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • American trypanosomiasis
  • New world trypanosomiasis
  • South American trypanosomiasis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


What is Chagas disease?

What is Chagas disease?

Chagas disease is caused by the parasiteTrypanosoma cruzi. When a triatomine bug (commonly known as a "kissing bug") infected with this parasite bites you, usually on your face, it leaves behind infected waste which can be spread into your eyes, nose, or a wound. Chagas disease can also spread through contaminated food, a blood transfusion, a donated organ or from mother to baby during pregnancy. Symptoms can include fever, flu-like symptoms, a rash or swollen eyelid. Early symptoms usually go away but if not treated, the infection can later cause serious intestinal and heart problems. Chagas disease is common in Latin America but not in the United States.[1]
Last updated: 3/4/2014

  1. US National Library of Medicine. Chagas Disease. Medlineplus. February 25, 2014; Accessed 3/4/2014.