A dangerous disease caused by insects called “kissing bugs” has sickened Florida residents and nearly 300,000 others around the country, the American Heart Association reports.
According to the AHA, the sickness is called Chagas disease. Chagas is caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, or the “kissing bug.” The disease has spread to areas where it was not usually seen, the AHA said.
Florida is among the states in the U.S. that have been known to have cases of the Chagas disease.
The AHA reported an estimated amount of 300,000 cases in the United States.
These “kissing bugs” usually operate at nighttime, Fox 23 reported, crawling onto people, dogs and other mammals to eat. When they feast, they usually leave behind feces that can cause an infection if it gets underneath the skin.
Texas A&M and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers said symptoms of those who might be affected are:
- body aches
- swollen eyelids
The CDC said that these bugs rarely infest indoors.