Symptoms of Chagas
Chagas disease has three stages, and each stage has its own type of symptoms. It is very important to get treated BEFORE you start to feel symptoms from the final, chronic stage!!
- The acute phase occurs in the first few weeks following infection. This phase may produce a wide range of symptoms including fever, nausea, diarrhea, or headaches. It is usually not distinguishable from a common virus or flu, although some people suffer a more severe acute phase which can be life threatening. Most others have no symptoms at all.
- The indeterminate phase comes next and lasts for years. At this time, your body has the infection but you do not feel any symptoms. This is why most people never realize they have Chagas disease.
- About 20-30 years after infection, 30-40% of people with Chagas disease develop severe chronic symptoms. Most of the time this will affect the heart. It may resemble other types of heart disease and can lead to heart failure. Others, especially people infected in South America, can develop a gastrointestinal version where the esophagus, intestine or colon becomes extremely enlarged.