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Acute Chagas Disease


CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin


This child from Panama is suffering from Chagas disease manifested as an acute infection with swelling of the right eye, known as Romaña's sign.
  • Chagas disease can be acute or chronic and if not treated, lasts for the lifetime of the patient
  • If acute, patient experiences symptoms soon after being bitten
    • Swelling around the bite and fever
    • Anorexia
    • Lymphadenopathy
    • Mild hepatosplenomegaly
    • Rare cases have an inflammatory reaction around the meninges, brain, or heart
    • Infants and children may die from this
    • Romana's sign is unilateral painless periorbital swelling
  • Most acute infections resolve over 2-3 months into the chronic stage