The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just issued a startling alert about the “kissing bug” that is formally known as the triatomine: This bug can kill you.
WHIO news reports that the bug looks harmless, but carries something called the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, which, when introduced into the human body, can be deadly. The parasite produces Changas disase, which has infected as many as 8 million people all over the world.
Changas is more common in Latin America and causes heart problems leading to death. Physical symptoms usually begin after about two months, and include fever, headache, enlarged lymph glands, muscle pain, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms are similar to flu, making the disease more difficult to identify.
Worse, fewer than 50 percent of the people infected by the bug even experience symptoms.
More identifiable symptoms include skin lesions or a purplish swelling on the eyelids of one eye.
The disease comes on in two phases, the first showing fewer symptoms than the latter, leaving the infected to likely think they had a flu or other sickness.
Of those entering the second, chronic phase of the disease, 10 percent suffer digestive problems, 30 percent cardiac.
Changas has no vaccination but is very curable. Treatment is nearly 100 percent effective, if the disease is diagnosed in time.
This is what the insect looks like:
— My Statesman (@MyStatesman) November 24, 2015
The World Health Organization recommends spraying your house with insecticide, employing good personal hygiene when around food, and screening blood donors.
The “kissing bug” has a higher chance of spreading the disease if the host rubs the bite, as the bug typically defecates into the bite, thus spreading the deadly parasite.
The only area of the United States not at risk are the northern regions, including New England and New York state.
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H/T Mad World News