Kissing Bug

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May 31, 2012:
Chagas disease seen as new health threat due to long incubation times and parasitic nature of infection.

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Could the Kissing Bug cause your heart to explode?

Chagas Disease may be hidden epidemic

As many as 30,000 US residents, and millions of people in Central and South America, may be infected with Chagas which is delivered by the Kissing Bug. The disease has a long incubation period and complications can include inflammation of the heart, esophagus, and colon as well as irregular heartbeat and heart failure. It can take up to 20 years to develop problems, at which point inflammation of organs may be irreversible. In the US, blood banks have been screening for the disease since 2007. Some hysteria about the disease is related to the potential for organs to burst, which causes sudden death.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: If you believe you have Chagas, do not panic until you get a proper diagnosis. The disease is treatable.