Referring to this information, this bug can even kill a human, so if you see Triatomine – best thing to do is to run the other way and check your body to see if there is any bite marks. In case you see any, do not rub it.
Even though this bug seems not so dangerous, it’s not harmless at all. Triatomine transmits Trypanosoma cruzi, a deadly parasite that can kill a human once it is in contact with the human body.
What this parasite causes are Chagas disease, a problem that is affecting over eight million people all around the world, and this number is getting bigger. Symptoms showing that being in contact with „kissing“bug are visible after two months that this parasite spends in the human body. Chagas disease usually causes problems with heart, so it can lead to death.
Symptoms are high fever, breathing difficulties, enlarged lymph glands, pain in the muscles and headache, so beside it’s deadly it is also hard to diagnose, because these symptoms are very much alike as those that would show you have a simple flu. The moment this symptom starts to evolve, people infected with Trypanosoma cruzi can get skin lesions and/or purple swelling of the eyelids usually in one eye. As this disease has two phases, first one is hard to identify since symptoms are flu alike, but in second phase there are other symptoms showing. 10% of infected patients has complained about digestive problems, but 30% of patients have already developed cardiac issues by the time second phase started.
If you see this bug, best thing to do is to run away, but in case you didn’t notice contact with it, there are other things that can be done. There is no immunization, so only prevention is avoiding it. However, there is almost 100% effective treatment for Chagas disease if it’s detected on time, in its early phase.
Avoiding this bug is easy, just follow few advice’s that The WHO is giving you. If you are scared enough, take same extra care about personal hygiene, mostly when you are around food. Also, you can spray your house using insecticide. If this is not enough and this bug „kisses“ you after all, rubbing the bite can help infection spread, because this insect is defecating throughout the bite, and it’s fecal matters contain deadly parasite we are talking about. If you start rubbing bite mark, you will help Trypanosoma cruzi to get into your blood system and there is a higher risk to get infected with Chagas disease.
Only regions in the United States that are not at risk of this bug with sweet nickname and not so sweet performances, are northern regions. New York State and New England are safe too, so if you are living in this area, there is no need to be afraid of „kissing bug“ and if you have some of these symptoms, that is probably just a simple flu.