Kansas July 18, 2019
A Parasitic Bug Has Been Spotted Throughout Kansas And Its Bite Can Be Deadly
Kansas has a lot of insects, and while most are harmless, others are a little spookier. Though we have plenty of parasites and bugs around, this is one in specific that you won’t want to be bitten by. It can transmit parasites that go a little farther than a bug bite. Have you seen this parasitic bug in kansas around before?
Today, the latest warning from the CDC is about the kissing bug.
Also known as the assassin bug as well as a few other names, these members of the Reduviidae family are often found in warmer climates just like Kansas.
They've been spotted in every state marked in yellow, and you may recognize these little buggers once you've seen them a few times.
In the summer, they're a common sight throughout Kansas, appearing as several species.
Kissing/assassin bugs are sometimes also known as wheel bugs, because of the species variants with spiky "wheels" coming off their backs.
Though they vary slightly from species to species, their bite remains just as harmful.
However, the danger from these insects doesn't come from the bite, but from the presence of the bug on your skin during the process.
If one of these bites you, it feels no different than another bug bite initially. However, if the bug also poops on you, that poop can be rubbed into the wound when you swat the bug, scratch the bite mark, or just rub against something after it has left.
It transmits Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomaisis.
Chagas disease is the name for the infection with insect borne parasites and can be deadly. It has two phases, acute and chronic. If not treated, the infection will last forever in a dormant state. Acute Chagas disease can last up to a few weeks or months, with parasites in your blood, fever or swelling around the bite, and sometimes inflammation of the heart or brain lining.
Most people never develop chagas-related symptoms for a while, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take this seriously.
Compilcations including heart rhythm abnormalities, a dilated heart with a weak pump, and a dilated esophagus or colon, leading to GI problems are all possible, especially if you are immunocompromised.
There are hundreds of species of kissing bugs, and the ones native to our area are equally likely to bite and transmit this disease.
Though we usually see orange-and-black versions like the one pictured above, it is still smart to pay attention to what exactly lands on you as you adventure through the state. Stay safe!
Couple this news with with all the
scorpions and spiders you can find scurrying from our lakes, and we’ve got a double insect problem.