Kissing Bug Infects 300,000 With Chagas Disease
You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh, the fundamental things apply, as time goes by.
Most of us remember this as the lyrics to As Time Goes By from the 1942 Humphrey Bogart movie Casablanca. But in 2018 a kiss is not just a kiss and may be an invitation to the risk of heart failure and stroke. (not just referring to engagement and marriage either)
There is an insect known as Trypanosoma cruzi and it carries a parasitic disease named Chagas. First detected in Brazil the bug has now infected over 10 million worldwide including some 300,000 in the United States.
The bug infects you not by biting you, but by laying infected feces being absorbed through your skin or eyes.
Why the name Kissing Bug?
OK, we've already covered the gross 'feces' aspect of the story, but it gets worse, the reason it's called kissing disease is it often bites you on the face, near your mouth and spreads the infection in there, in that moist warm perfect living petri dish environment you spend $$ on keeping clean and fresh. Then the Chagas disease can be spread from person to person orally from kissing.
The CDC says if not treated quickly about 30% of those infected can develop serious symptoms, and those symptoms are heart failure, stroke, ventricular arrhythmias and even a heart attack.
On the other hand, the disease can kill you with no symptoms, as occurs in 60-70% of cases, so Chagras also earns the nickname of the silent killer.
For more information and photos of the bug and what to look for, click here.