Today's Top Stories. Getty Images. Here's how: 1. It can expose you to nasty bacteria that make you feel miserable. It can spread viruses like mononucleosis and meningitis that can put you out for weeks, if not months. It can lead to a sexually transmitted infection. It can lead to cold sores. It can expose you to blood-borne viruses like HIV.
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It can cause cavities. It can trigger a serious allergic reaction. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Angus Cattanach —. Sheila Borton —.
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Triatomine Bug FAQs
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Talie Helene — Mar 31, Natalie —. Natshane —. A Lauren —. Julie Scott —. Amy —. Your email address will not be published. But a person could be infected for years and not know until more serious symptoms set in. A month after she had donated blood, the bank sent her a letter that said their routine screening found Trypanosoma cruzi in her blood. And a second test from the CDC confirmed she had the parasite in her body. No approved Chagas vaccine or cure exists. To infect someone, Triatomine bugs leave feces near a bite, which itches. When it's scratched, the feces are driven under the skin and into the bloodstream.
Stark couldn't remember being bitten. But months after her diagnosis, she found a kissing bug in the closet of her parents' ranch. And Baylor Medical Schools researchers have found that most of the kissing bugs in Texas also contain the parasite. Even worse: The majority of bugs tested in the lab had human blood in their system — meaning they had already potentially infected people. Though kissing bugs have been present in the region for decades, researchers say more people are encountering them as once-rural land is developed into suburbs.