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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682On-line version ISSN 1678-9849

Abstract

DIAS, João Carlos Pinto et al. Chagas' disease in Lassance, Minas Gerais State: Clinical-epidemiological re-evaluation ninety years after the discovery by Carlos Chagas. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2002, vol.35, n.2, pp.167-176. ISSN 0037-8682.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822002000200007.

The history and present situation of Chagas' disease in Lassance (the county where Carlos Chagas discovered American trypanosomiasis) were studied through a historical analysis and clinical and epidemiological research performed from 1999 to 2001. Lassance was an important focus of Chagas' disease from Carlos Chagas up until the 1980's, because of intensive infestation in dwellings by Panstrongylus megistus and Triatoma infestans, two important species which were efficiently controlled in the last twenty years. Human Chagas' disease was important in the past but today is only residual, affecting basically the more elderly age groups. The general prevalence is about 5.03% and no infected individuals are found below 20 years of age. The clinical and epidemiologic profile of the seropositive individuals studied is that expected in areas with interrupted transmission, most of these presenting the indeterminate or benign cardiac form of chronic Chagas' disease. Some cases of digestive Chagas' disease also seem to exist. Mortality due to the disease is still significant, affecting chiefly older age groups. The municipality still remains infested by Triatoma sordida, in low densities and high dispersion, non infected by T. cruzi and restricted to peridomestic foci. In conclusion, Lassance is now free of Chagas' disease transmission and must improve medical attention for the remaining infected individuals, as well as to maintain a permanent epidemiological surveillance against native Triatominae.

Keywords : Chagas' disease; Lassance; Epidemiology; Clinic; Control; History.

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