Chagas Disease can affect anyone but is most commonly diagnosed in children. Named after Brazilian doctor, Carlos Chagas in 1909, this inflammatory disease is caused by the parasite trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite can be transmitted to humans in several different ways. The most common way a person can contract the disease is via the triatomine bug, which is found only in the Americas and Mexico. These insects often live in houses and areas made of mud, straw, adobe, and palm thatch. Also known as American Trypanosomiasis, one way people can become infected with this contagious disease is via a bite from the insect. The reason Chagas Disease is often called the Kissing Bug Disease is because triatomine bugs, although usually hiding in crevices in walls and roofs during the day, emerge at night and are known to feed on people’s faces. Although symptoms are often not experienced in the acute stage, when they do occur they can be numerous.
Fever. The duration of Acute Chagas Disease can range from weeks to months depending on the severity of the case, the person, and the treatment used. One of the symptoms the infected person may experience is a fever. He or she may suffer from raised body temperatures, chills, and hot flashes. The person may feel weak, and may alternate back and forth between feeling too hot and too cold. They also may experience profuse sweating, clammy skin, lethargy, and weakness. Fever can be treated with over the counter fever reducing medications and ample rest. Be sure to drink plenty of water.