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Volume 19, Number 10—October 2013
Etymologia

Etymologia: Chagas Disease

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Cha·gas [shä-gəs] Disease

Prevalent among persons who have lived in Mexico, Central America, and South America, Chagas disease can cause chronic and potentially severe cardiac and gastrointestinal disease decades after infection. The disease is named for Carlos Chagas, a Brazilian scientist who discovered a new species of Trypanosoma in the intestines of triatomine insects (called barbeiro or barber because they often bite the face). In 1908, Chagas named the new species T. cruzi after his mentor, Oswaldo Cruz. The next year, he identified the parasite in the blood of an ill 2-year-old girl named Bérénice, in what became the first description of this new human disease.

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References

  1. Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
  2. Kropf  SP, Sá  MR. The discovery of Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas disease (1908–1909): tropical medicine in Brazil. Hist Cienc Saude Manguinhos. 2009;16(Suppl 1):1334 . .DOIPubMed

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Suggested citation for this article: Etymologia: Chagas disease. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2013 Oct [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1910.ET1910

DOI: 10.3201/eid1910.et1910

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Table of Contents – Volume 19, Number 10—October 2013

Page created: August 12, 2013
Page updated: August 12, 2013
Page reviewed: August 12, 2013
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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