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‘Kissing bug’ case in Delaware raises alarm for summer

04/27/2019

(CNN) – A bloodsucking “kissing bug” bit a Delaware girl on the face last summer while she was watching television. Now, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the incident the first confirmed identification of the bug in the state.

Triatoma sanguisuga, often called the “kissing bug” because it usually bites around the eyes and mouth, can transmit a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite causes Chagas disease, which can have serious cardiac and gastrointestinal complications.

When the girl was bitten, her family contacted the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Agriculture for help in identifying the creature. They were concerned about possible disease transmission from the insect, according to a CDC report Thursday.

“The girl who was bitten had no ill effects,” the report said, and although the bug’s presence was confirmed in Delaware at the time, there is no current evidence of Trypanosoma cruzi in the state.

Yet the case raises new concern about how many additional kissing bug bites might occur this summer across the nation — and what that means for public health.

Read the full story at cnn.com


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