Heads up y’all. There is a bug amongst us that shows its affection for us by kissing us with “bites” on our faces and lips. While it kisses us it might shit on us and pass a deadly virus. The bug is known as the “kissing” bug. It kisses and poops – the poop is what can get you.
Kissing bugs get their nickname because they favor biting human faces and lips at night. Maybe they should be called “shitting” bugs because it’s their “poop” that leaves behind a parasite that causes Chagas disease.
Chagas disease isn’t common in America, but it’s been around for thousands of years. A parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) causes it.
The disease has an incubation period similar to the flu. flu t Then it transitions into a chronic phase, during which up to 30 percent of people develop heart problems and 10 percent develop gastrointestinal issues.
In rare cases, Chagas disease can end in death.
The disease infects up to 8 million people, mostly in Latin America. But cases recently started popping up in Texas.
One lady infected in 2015 told KXAS in Texas,
“I’ve never left the United States. I’ve never even been on a cruise. I was infected right here in Texas.”
The bug has also taken a liking to Georgians and North Carolinians.
A 2014 study revealed that bed bugs also carry Chagas disease. So if you’ve got bed bugs sleeping with you get rid of them.
There are no approved drugs for the disease. The CDC has experimental drugs, which reportedly can be up to 85 percent effective, but they have to be taken soon after a person is infected.
Here are the symptoms of Chagas.
Chagas disease has two phases. During the first (or acute) phase, symptoms are usually mild. They might include:
- Fever, fatigue, or other flu-like symptoms
- A rash
- A sore where the parasite has entered the body
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite
- Swollen eyelids, if the parasite has entered through the eyes (known as Romaña’s sign)
Yeah that’s some nasty stuff ya’ll.
Young people and people with compromised immune systems are wide open to contracting Chagas than older and healthier people.
What’s the best defense against it?
Get rid of any bugs that have taken a liken to you. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms consult your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor go and see your friend’s doctor. Just see a doctor.
And oh yeah – don’t let bugs poop on you.