Kissing Bug Disease Far Deadlier Than Originally Thought

Kissing Bugs

Three Different Species of Kissing bugs –Image courtesy: tamu.edu

It was once believed that the Kissing Bug was a harmless insect, but new studies show that it can pack a deadly punch.

The kissing bug gets its name for biting the faces and lips of people while sleeping. It turns out these kisses can be fatal. After they pierce the skin, the bug excretes faecal matter in the wound. Their faecal matters has the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, which can enter the bloodstream and lead to Chagas disease (also called the kissing bug disease).

Many people believed the disease called mild symptoms or even were asymptomatic. However, a study published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal claims the infected is responsible for more deaths than previously thought. Many of these deaths were unrecognized.

Ligia Capuani, a Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo infectious disease researcher, said in each age category people infected with Chagas died more than folks without the disease.

Capuani said 40% of people’s blood that came back positive for Chagas didn’t have it listed on the death certificate.

The parasite slowly kills the body, moving slowly toward the heart and destroying it. Many of the mortality data doesn’t take Chagas into consideration. The majority of folks who are infected carry on with their lives and don’t even know they have been bitten.

There is currently no vaccine for the kissing bug disease. And, the only way to prevent an infection is to arm yourself by using insecticides and treating cracks and crevices of a home. Kissing bugs are often seen in roof cracks and walls of poorly-built homes.

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Posted by on May 21 2017. Filed under Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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