Potentially Deadly ‘Kissing Bug’ Found Close To New York
Awe it's a Kissing Bug...doesn't that sound soooo cute. Yes, until you find out that they suck blood and bite you on the face. That "kiss" on the face can give you a lifelong disease that could even be deadly. Not so cute now, huh?
The Kissing Bug, or triatomine bugs, are known by their much cuter name "Kissing Bug" because they like to bite people on the face. OUCH! They are bloodsuckers that carry a host of potential diseases including Chagas disease. Chagas disease can cause fever, fatigue, aches, headache, rash, and swelling at the site of transmission. But in severe cases, Chagas disease can lead to stroke or heart failure.
In the past, the Kissing Bugs wasn't found any further north than North Carolina. Unfortunately, they seem to be migrating north. They have been found as far north as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. So, it's just a matter of time before they invade New York. The New York Department of Conservation has been urging New Yorkers to be on the lookout for these little face biters.
In 2018 a Delaware girl was bitten on the face while watching TV. Their home is near a wooded area.
The CDC says people can protect themselves against the kissing bug in several ways:
- Seal cracks around the house;
- Don't install yard lights near the house, because they can attract bugs;
- Allow pets to sleep indoors at night;
- Clear brush or rock piles near the house;
- Use screens on windows;
- Keep the home and outdoor pet areas clean.
Some bugs look like the Kissing Bug so the NY DEC posted on their Facebook page pictures to know the difference.