Thursday 3 December 2015

Chagas: 'Kissing bug' responsible for deadly infection spreads across America

The triatomine bug most commonly bites victims on the face and can cause long-term cardiac damage

A dangerous insect known as the “kissing bug” which can cause an infection leading to long-term damage to the heart has spread across more than half US states, health officials have claimed.

The triatomine bug, which is around an inch long, has earned its nickname due to the way it bites victims around the mouth and face in their sleep.

It has been documented since the 1850s and resembles a cockroach.

And while it does not have a deadly bite, it leaves faeces behind which can cause Chagas disease, an infection responsible for flu-like symptoms, vomiting, muscle pain, difficulty breathing and - if left untreated - death. 

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