Some bugs are harmless. Even though they seem monstrous to you, they do not cause any health damage to people or pets.
Some are a threat to life despite their small size. These are the kissing bugs. Don’t be misled by the sweet name, they have another one – the Assassin bugs. They probably earned this name because of their discrete and fatal bites.
Their deadly bites have been the reason for the deaths of many dogs in Texas. They reportedly spread the disease American Trypanosomiasis, or “Chagas Disease.” However, only 50 percent of bugs are infected with the parasites causing Chagas.
These bugs originally live in Southern America but now found more spread in southern states of the US.
The parasites are spread by the feces of the bugs, and they usually feed off the blood of pets around their mouth and eye area. The sad thing is, it is hard to prevent it, as a dog may eat the kissing bug playing in your backyard. The insects live under the cement, in the cracks of walls, in outdoor doghouses, forests, and chicken coops.
Unfortunately, the symptoms may bear resemblance to flu, or the disease may show no symptoms in the beginning. Most children and adults who have Chagas disease do not know when they were infected and live their whole lives with the parasite without experiencing any symptoms.
However, some people may experience severe and distressing symptoms. The first signs of contracting the disease are the following:
- Swelling and/or redness at the skin infection site,
- Skin rash;
- Severe headaches;
- Unexplainable pain in the whole body (abdominal especially);
- Swollen lymph nodes;
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea;
- Liver and/or spleen enlargement;
- Swelling of tissues around the eye;
- Muscle aches.
The bites of the Assassin bugs cause swollen eyes, and even anaphylactic shock, which can cause asphyxiation and eventually death.
Small kids may get infected when playing with stones and bricks in the yard or through being in contact with pets. If there is a risk of contamination, do not postpone your visit to the doctor, as waiting can be fatal.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.