Most bugs and spiders are harmless, regardless of how frightening they may seem.
But, there’s a little bug known as “the kissing bug” that not only bears a deceivingly gentle name but has been terrorizing people across the state of Texas.
This assassin bug is known for spreading a severely dangerous disease called American Trypanosomiasis, or “Chagas Disease”.
Chagas is a rare parasitic disease that has claimed the lives of hundreds of dogs in Texas alone, and over 400 dogs overall have died from this disease.
A parasite, Trypanosoma Cruz, is what causes Chagas disease. The bug carries the parasite and spreads it in their feces.
Dogs can contract the disease by eating the bug or when the feces of the bug become exposed to a bite wound or mucous membrane.
The assassin bug feeds on the blood around the eyes and mouth of the dog while it’s sleeping.
Known as the “silent killer”, Chagas disease will not show any signs or symptoms in pets or people until it has progressed to later stages. This is where it attacks the heart muscles, eventually causing heart failure, which at this stage it is too late for treatment.
Symptoms of the disease usually occur after being bitten by the “assassin bug” in the form of the flu, immense swelling of the eyelids, and possibly anaphylactic shock, which can cause asphyxiation and eventually death.
Over time, these symptoms become increasingly more painful. If you suspect that a child or dog may have contracted Chagas disease caused by a bite from an assassin bug, take them to the hospital immediately.
Assassin bugs live in the crack of walls, under porches, rocks, cement, in forested areas, or dog houses and chicken coups.
The presence of these bugs has been reported in every southern state in America, and also most Midwestern states. These bugs are extremely dangerous and known for biting animals and children who play in wooded areas.
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