WARNING: IF YOU FIND THESE IN YOUR HOME, GET TO A DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY!
A deadly bug that carries the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, which causes Chagas disease, has been reported in southern USA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an urgent warning against this lethal insect owing to the fact that nearly 8 million people throughout the world have been infected with this parasite.
This insect is native to southern USA, Mexico, Central and South America.
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a bite by this insect does not always lead to Chagas disease as the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite is actually in the bug feces. To be more specific, the disease only develops if this fecal material gets rubbed into a bite wound or enters the body through an exposed part such as the mouth or eyes.
Although small and harmless in appearance, this insect causes heart disease in about 30% of those who are infected. It’s similar to mosquitos because it feeds on human blood too. What’s specific about this insect is that it usually bites its victims on their face. At first, the bite only itches, but as the host scratches the bitten area, the parasite enters the body. Once the parasite settles in, it leads to sickness and even heart diseases.
According to 11-ALIVE News, the triatomine bug, commonly referred to as the “kissing bug”, has been reported all across southern US. There’s an infographic below that shows this insect’s prevalence throughout the country.
The species native to the USA carry the Chagas Disease pathogen. However, their feeding behavior doesn’t involve defecating, so the likelihood of humans becoming infected is very low. Nevertheless, if you see one of the bugs in your area, contact your closest CDC office.
According to the CDC, “kissing bugs” can be found indoors in cracks and holes, as well as outdoors in these places:
- under porches
- between rocky structures
- under cement
- in rock, wood, brush piles, or beneath bark
- in rodent nests or animal burrows
- in outdoor dog houses or kennels
- in chicken coops or houses.
For optimal protection against
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