Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)

World Chagas Disease Day - opportunity to collectively celebrate all neglected tropical diseases

24 May 2019 | Geneva -- Delegates attending the 72nd World Health Assembly have approved a proposal that will henceforth designate 14 of April as 'World Chagas Disease Day'.

Raising awareness and the profile of this ‘silent disease’ - which is often diagnosed in late stages – is key to early treatment and cure.

Celebrating World Chagas Day on 14 April will provide this unique opportunity to add a global voice in favour of ‘forgotten diseases’.

Preventing mother-to-child transmission of Chagas disease: from control to elimination

16 November 2018 | Geneva | Murcia (Spain) -- Recent evidence demonstrates that active screening of girls and women of childbearing age can effectively prevent congenital transmission of Chagas disease.

Consequently and in addition to existing strategies on early detection and treatment of infected newborns and siblings, WHO is focusing on prevention of transmission through diagnosis and treatment of women of childbearing age in endemic and non-endemic countries.

Paraguay interrupts vector transmission of Chagas in the home

7 August 2018 | Asuncion/Washington D.C, (PAHO/WHO) −− Paraguay has succeeded in interrupting the vector transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the home, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. This was verified last week by a group of international independent experts convened by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

WHO and Mundo Sano Foundation to facilitate access to paediatric treatment of Chagas disease

8 November 2017 | Geneva –– The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Mundo Sano Foundation are working together to make an essential antiparasitic medicine for the treatment of Chagas disease widely accessible to children.
Treatment with benznidazole in the early stages of infection can cure Chagas disease.
Unfortunately, few people are currently able to access diagnosis and treatment services.

Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)

©Mads Nissen
Screening for Chagas in Colombia, 2010

Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi or (T. cruzi).

Once confined to the Region of the Americas, Chagas disease has spread to other continents over the last century due to increased travel and global population movement.

More than 10 000 people die every year from clinical manifestations of Chagas disease, and an estimated 25 million people risk acquiring the disease.

Videos

Kissing Bugs –"Triatomines - Vector of disease ": Chagas disease vector


Photo gallery


Learn about the disease

Animated life cycle of T. cruzi in the human host

Contacts

Media contact:

Ashok Moloo
molooa@who.int
+41 22 791 1637
+41 79 540 50 86 (mobile)