Chagas disease Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Chagas disease Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention


Chagas disease or ‘kissing bugs’ is a disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. This disease is not transmitted between humans, so it is also called insect kissing disease because it is transmitted through triatomine insects. These insects usually bite humans through thin skin, such as the eyes or mouth when humans sleep.

Infection actually occurs not because of a bite, but because of insect feces. Insects bite humans and become carriers of T. cruzi through feces. Feces can infect the human body from the nose, mouth, or bite wound itself.

Although the main cause of human infection is triatomine insects, parasites can also infect in other ways. Some of the ways include:

  • Blood transfusions or organ transplants from patients
  • Eating raw food that has been contaminated with parasites or eating cooked meat from infected animals
  • Infected pregnant women can transmit the disease to the fetus in the womb

This disease is quite dangerous, especially if it infects young children or people with weakened immune systems.


Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi which is usually present in triatomine insects. Insects bite humans and become carriers of T. cruzi through feces. Feces can infect the human body from the nose, mouth, or the bite wound itself.

These insects usually bite humans while they are sleeping. The most frequently bitten parts of the body are areas with thin skin, such as the eyes or mouth.


It is quite difficult to make a diagnosis of Chagas disease in its early stages. This is because the symptoms are similar to the flu. To confirm this disease, the doctor will perform blood tests and also an ECG in the process of determining the diagnosis.


Chagas disease has two phases, namely the acute phase and the chronic phase.

Symptoms that appear in the early or acute phase are usually only mild complaints, including:

  • fever, weakness like flu symptoms
  • rash, sores
  • vomit
  • diarrhea
  • no appetite
  • swelling of the eyelids (Roman’s sign)

These early symptoms usually go away on their own within a few weeks or months. However, the parasite can remain in the body in a dormant state (stop growing due to conditions that do not allow growth), for up to several years.

If the disease enters the final or chronic phase, it can trigger a dangerous condition. Conditions that can arise such as:

  • heart problems such as an enlarged heart, heart rhythm abnormalities, heart failure and even a heart attack
  • Digestive disorders such as enlarged bowel
  • blood clotting


In its early stages, Chagas disease is fairly easy to cure. Drugs to kill parasites are benznidazole and nifurtimox. The drug must be taken for 2 months. Treatment will be effective if the drug is taken as soon as possible after infection.

The longer and later, the less effective the drug will be. This drug can not be taken by pregnant women but can be used for newborns. However, you need to consult a doctor first.


There is no vaccine to prevent Chagas disease infection. The most effective way to prevent this disease is to avoid triatomine insects. These insects tend to live in houses made of mud, adobe, and straw.

Another action you can take is to use a mosquito net while sleeping. In addition, make sure you always clean the house regularly.

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