The story

Carlos Chagas

Carlos Chagas



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Doctor, sanitarist and mining scientist (1879-1934). Discover the process of contagion and evolution of two of the most serious tropical diseases: malaria and Chagas disease.

Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano das Chagas (9/7 / 1879-8 / 11/1934) is born in Oliveira, the son of a farmer. He studies medicine in Rio de Janeiro, finishing his degree in 1903. In that same year, he joined the Osvaldo Cruz Bacteriological Institute in Rio, which he directed from 1917. In 1905 he was sent by the doctor Osvaldo Cruz to Santos, São Paulo, to detain a malaria epidemic, discovers that the transmission is made by a mosquito and enables the fight against the disease. In 1907, when he headed the commission for studies and prevention of malaria in Minas Gerais, he began researching an unknown cause endemic, later called Chagas disease. In 1909 identifies the causative agent of the disease, a protozoan named after Trypanosoma cruzi, named after Osvaldo Cruz. Also finds the transmitting insect, the barber. Between 1911 and 1912, he made a comprehensive epidemiological survey in the Amazon. In 1918, as Rio de Janeiro's director of public health, he led the campaign against the Spanish flu epidemic. His investigations lead to methods for the treatment and eradication of these diseases and bring him international recognition. He wins the Schaudim (1912) and Krummel (1925) awards, both in Germany, and receives the title of honorary doctor from the universities of Paris, Harvard, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Lima and Arequipa. He joins the United Nations League Hygiene Committee and founds the International Center for Lepology. Dies in Rio de Janeiro, with extensive published work.