Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does Chagas disease make your heart explode?"
I've lived with ocd for a long time and i'm terrified of Chagas from the news. Does it really make your heart explode and is it always a death sentence?
Chagas disease is a chronic medical condition that is caused by infection with a particular form of microscopic parasite, called Trypanosoma cruzi. This parasite (and, consequently, Chagas disease) only occurs in parts of the world where the insect that transmits the infection is found. These areas of transmission are limited to South America and a few places in Central America. There is no Chagas disease in the United States, with the exception of a few rare cases caused by blood transfusions (the blood supply in the US is now tested routinely for Chagas disease, so this is also no longer a common mechanism for transmission). Chagas disease can cause many problems, including heart failure, but it does not cause the heart to "explode." More to the point, as someone living in the United States, your risk of getting Chagas disease is essentially nonexistent (unless you travel to some of the remote locations in South America where it can be found). If you are experiencing a recurrent fear about contracting Chagas disease, you should talk with your psychologist or psychiatrist to see if they have any suggestions about how to eliminate the fear. Book an appointment with your doctor today!
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