Bloodsucking “Kissing Bugs” Chagas Disease Spreading Across Southern US Sickening 300,000 Americans

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A condition called Chagas Disease caused by bloodsucking “killing bugs,” known as triatomine, is more harmful than you might think and already sickened more than 300,000 Americans across Southern US.

Chagas Disease, caused by a virus transmitted by the triatomine bugs, can lead to severe cardiac or intestinal complications in about 30% of the people who contracted it if left untreated. In the new report on this matter, released by the American Heart Association (AHA), the experts warn that this condition can cause heart failure or sudden death.

According to AHA, Chagas Disease is increasingly popular across US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Europe, even though the bloodsucking “kissing bugs” are originally from Central and South America. As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, across the US, there are about 11 species of triatomine bugs, affecting more the Southern US states, with a higher incidence in Texas, Georgia, and Florida.

Worldwide, there are more than 6 million people with Chagas Disease.

About the bloodsucking “kissing bugs”

According to the Texas A&M University, some triatomine species get out at night to feed on humans and other mammals, usually leaving behind only some small marks of their presence on the skin. They were nicknamed “kissing bugs” as their favorite biting places is around the mouth and eyes.

However, not their bites are causing the infection but their feces which are containing a parasite and are left by the “kissing bugs” on the human skin. If the feces go beneath the derma, the area might get infected.

The typical symptoms of the infection include swollen skin, fatigue, body aches, or rashes. The Chagas Disease is detectable via a simple blood test and is treated with anti-parasitic medication.

However, if the condition is not tackled in time, the disease becomes severe, as in approximately 30% of the people infected with the parasites of the bloodsucking “kissing bugs” stroke, irregular heartbeat or heart failure can occur, among others.