The Incidence of Chagas' Disease in Panama as Determined by the Complement-Fixation Test

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  • Gorgas Memorial Laboratory and the Army Medical Research Board

Many studies on the distribution of Chagas' disease have been made since it was first described by Carlos Chagas in Brazil in 1909, and although the disease has been reported from Central America and naturally infected insect vectors have been found in North America, in California and Arizona, very little attention has been given to it in these places. Thus, the extent of the infection among the population is not definitely known. In Panama infection of man by Trypanosoma cruzi was first noted by Miller (1), and from time to time since then a few other cases have been added to the originals by Clark and Dunn (2), DeCoursey (3) and Johnson and DeRivas (4).

The difficulties encountered in the diagnosis of this malady, as observed in Panama, have been in a large part responsible for our lack of knowledge concerning it.