Kissing Bug Spreading Disease in Texas

There is a dangerous illness spread by bugs that bite people’s faces and it’s spreading in our direction. The ‘Kissing Bug’, otherwise known as a Triatomine bug, spread a parasitic illness called Chagas Disease. If left untreated the disease can cause serious cardiac or intestinal complications in about 30% of patients, according to the CDC. The complications can lead to heart failure and sudden death. The AHA estimates that there are approximately 300,000 people infected with Chagas Disease in the U.S. right now. Looking at the map on the Texas Health & Human Services website there appears to be heavy saturation in the south-east part of the state in animals and humans. Apparently there are over 100 species of Triatomine bugs and about 12 of those are considered important transmitters of Trypanosoma Cruzi, the parasite that cases Chagas. The disease is particularly dangerous because many people don’t show signs of infections, leading to medical researchers describing Chagas as a “silent killer.” It’s during the night that certain species of triatomine bugs crawl onto people, dogs and other mammals to feed. Because they often bite on the face, especially near the eyes or mouth-hence the “kissing bugs” name.
Here’s the worst part, when these bugs eat they typically poop, and that poop usually contains the parasite, which they leave right there on your face. So the bug lands on your face somewhere, bites you and probably takes a great big steamer containing an infectious parasite that you then spread all up in the bite wound because who doesn’t itch a bug bite? People can get infected quickly that way and like I said earlier, most people don’t show signs of infection. However some people develop swollen eyelids if that’s where the infection first occurs. In the early phase of infection, some people experience fairly common symptoms of sickness like fever, fatigue, body aches, headaches or a rash, according to Texas A&M’s Chagas research team. In some cases, people may experience diarrhea or vomiting, and a small percentage of young children can experience swelling in the heart or brain that can lead to death. There are a ton sketchy health situations that can develop from this nasty bug so go read all the information on the kissing bug and the disease it can spread. Seriously, we gotta keep clear of this lil shitter….literally….cause the poop on your face.

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