‘Kissing bug disease’: What Canadians need to know about Chagas

Global News

TORONTO – They’re parasites that feed on people’s faces in the still of the night. And while the infection they spread typically occurs in Latin America, cases of Chagas disease are now popping up in the United States.

Chagas – dubbed the “kissing bug” disease – is a parasitic infection. Triatomine bugs, which transmit the infection, bite especially around the mouth.

Humans who are infected can spread Chagas via blood transfusions, organ transplants or from mother to child. It can lead to heart disease and even death, scientists are warning.

It’s traditionally a tropical disease in South America, Central America and Mexico but U.S. researchers say Chagas has now made its way into Texas and other states. They’re calling it an “emerging” U.S. public health threat.

“We were astonished to not only find such a high rate of individuals testing positive for Chagas in their blood, but also high rates of…

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