Public health officials have confirmed for the first time in the history of the state the presence of the so-called "Kissing Bug" in Delaware.
The insect-Triatoma sanguisuga– is a blood-sucking creature that feeds on animals and humans and has a special predilection for biting faces. While the bites themselves are not necessarily dangerous, the beetles can transmit a parasite that causes Chagas disease – a potentially serious illness.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, a family from Kent County, Delaware contacted the local health authorities in July 2018 after an insect bit their child's face while watching TV.
The family told the officials that they lived near a wooded area and had not recently traveled outside the region.
Preliminary investigations by the Delaware Division of Public Health identified the insect as a kissing beetle. Photos were then sent to the Kissing Bug Citizen Science Program at Texas A & M University, which documented the insects throughout the country before the creature was finally confirmed Triatoma sanguisuga through the CDC by analyzing his body shape.
In testing the insect, a human blood meal was detected but the parasite was negative Trypanosoma cruzithat causes Chagas disease. Fortunately, the girl did not get sick after the bite.
This is the first confirmed identification of the kiss in Delaware. Earlier, in July 2017, Texas A & M received reports of a suspected kissing error. The mistake was found dead, and no one had reported being bitten.
While the university identified the creature as T. sanguisuga Based on photographic evidence, a local facility had initially come to the conclusion that the physical examination was a milkweed bug. The specimen was destroyed before Texas A & M received the photos, so no final identification was made.
The parasite that the kissing beetle carries sometimes causes Chagas' disease – which can lead to serious heart and gastrointestinal complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, the disease can cause a sudden, short-term (acute) illness or lead to a long-lasting (chronic) condition. The symptoms range from mild to severe, although many people experience nothing until the chronic stage.
Symptoms of the acute phase, which may last for weeks or months, include fever, swelling at the site of infection, fatigue, rash, body pain, eyelid swelling, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, swollen glands, and enlargement of the eye Liver or spleen.
If the patient is left untreated, the disease may become chronic – the symptoms will not appear until 10 or 20 years after infection. In severe cases these symptoms may include: irregular heartbeat, heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, difficulty in swallowing due to enlarged esophagus and abdominal pain, and constipation due to enlarged colon.
According to the CDC, around 300,000 people in the US suffer from Chagas' disease – most of them were infected with the parasite in rural areas of Mexico, Central America and South America.
While the errors are found in the US, there are only a handful of confirmed cases in which people have contracted Chagas' disease after being exposed to the error within the country. In addition, it is important to note that while Delaware has discovered some bug bugs, there are currently no indications of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi in that condition
"Even where, where T. cruzi "Not all triatomine errors are infected with the parasite," reads the CDC report. "The probability of a human T. cruzi The infection due to a triatoma defect in the United States is low even if the defect is infected. "