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Can kissing bugs cause Chagas disease?

ANSWER

Kissing bugs sometimes have a parasite in their poop that causes Chagas disease. In most people, that causes mild or no symptoms. But in some, the infection can lead to serious, long-term heart problems or disease in the intestines.

Chagas disease from a kissing bug is very rare in humans in the U.S. But the number of cases is growing in southern parts of the country.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Triatomine Bug FAQs,” “Parasites -- American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas Disease).”

UpToDate: “Reactions to bites from kissing bugs (primarily genus Triatoma),” “Insect Bites.”

Mayo Clinic: “Chagas Disease.”

World Health Organization: “Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: “Conenose or Kissing Bugs.”

Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences: “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: A Brief Introduction,” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: Found a Kissing Bug?” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: FAQ.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology: “Anaphylaxis.”

The University of Arizona: “UA Helps Community with Kissing-Bug Problem.”

Iowa State University: “American Trypanosomiasis.”

 

 

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 21, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: “Triatomine Bug FAQs,” “Parasites -- American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas Disease).”

UpToDate: “Reactions to bites from kissing bugs (primarily genus Triatoma),” “Insect Bites.”

Mayo Clinic: “Chagas Disease.”

World Health Organization: “Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: “Conenose or Kissing Bugs.”

Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences: “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: A Brief Introduction,” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: Found a Kissing Bug?” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: FAQ.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology: “Anaphylaxis.”

The University of Arizona: “UA Helps Community with Kissing-Bug Problem.”

Iowa State University: “American Trypanosomiasis.”

 

 

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 21, 2017

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