You need to call your doctor, if you see this bug around yourself
Nature can be a bit hard-nosed when it comes to creating things that can harm us. There are many animals, birds and even bacteria in nature that can kill us, but it is often not the largest, but the smallest creation of nature that is more harmful for our well-being.
Yes, tigers, lions, sharks etc can kill us, but small things like bacteria, insects and bugs are something that are both annoying and harmful to us, with the no.1 spot going to mosquitoes as the thing that has killed most humans in the history of mankind.
But there is a new boss in town and this bug has the capacity to kill you and is very well known to give a painful death to humans.
1 Which bug is this?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a recent health related issue. The issue concerns an insect known as Triatomine which is also known by its more common name of the kissing bug. The CDC has actually termed the bug capable of killing an adult human.
The bug is known to transfer a deadly parasite known as Trypanosoma cruzi via its bite to humans and this parasite is potentially fatal to humans, as it causes a very rare and painful disease in humans.
2 Why it is dangerous?
The bug known Triatomine or kissing bug/assassin bug are found mainly in the Americas and some species of this bug are also found in Asia, Africa and Australia. Most of the 130 or so species of this bug feed on the blood of vertebrates. But some of the bugs also feed on other invertebrates.
What makes this bug extra deadly to humans is because it carries a very dangerous and fatal parasite with it known as Trypanosoma Cruzi, which is transferred to humans during the bug’s blood sucking feeding time. The parasite is a known cause of a very fatal disease, known as Chagas Disease.
This Chagas disease is widespread in rural Central and South America, where the bug is commonly found in large numbers.
3 What is Chagas disease?
The Chagas disease was named after Brazilian Dr. Carlos Chagas, who discovered it in 1909. He found that the kissing bugs carried the T.Cruzi parasite and were responsible for the transmission of this parasite to humans via mouth, a cut or scratch or from the wound of the bug’s bite.
One can also be infected by the disease if someone eats uncooked food contaminated by the parasite, blood transfusion, organ transplant or any contact with anything infected with T.Cruzi parasite. The symptoms of Chagas disease are that it causes acute and sudden pain, illness which may be acute or chronic. It also causes rash, fever, swelling at the bitten area, fatigue, body aches and nausea etc.
The chronic phase of the disease can display symptoms like irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest and abdominal pain. These chronic symptoms may show up 15-20 years after the initial infection or may not occur at all.
4 How to treat Chagas disease?
There is no way to 100% immunize yourself from the disease, but you can treat and cure Chagas disease completely.
If the disease is in its acute phase, prescribed medicines like benznidazole and nifurtimox can benefit the patient a lot. CDC recommends that every person infected by the parasite and diagnosed with acute Chagas disease, congenital infection, children and people with suppressed immune system should be on drug treatment.
In the United States, the drugs can be obtained via CDC only, but they are widely available in Central and South America. Though patients with chronic Chagas benefit very less from the drug treatment, but CDC recommends that they should continue with the drugs.
Most of the experts suggest installing pacemakers and heart transplant, which can prove to be life saving for patients who developed arrhythmias or cardiomyopathy due to prolonged exposure to the parasite.