(News story in link)

Girl bit by blood-sucking kissing bug in Delaware, CDC confirms

Posted April 24

— A girl was bitten by a kissing bug in Delaware, the CDC confirmed last week.

According to a statement released April 19, the girl was bitten back in July 2018 while she was watching television in her bedroom.

The family contacted the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Agriculture for help identifying the bug.

According to the CDC, the home where the girl was bitten was an older home located in a heavily wooded area. A window air conditioning unit was located in the bedroom where the bite occurred.

In April 2019, the insect was preliminarily identified as a kissing bug, or Triatoma sanguisuga.

According to the CDC, kissing bugs are blood-sucking insects that feed on animals and humans. Their nickname comes from their tendency to bite faces.

CNN reported that the bugs, found frequently around Arizona, are known to spread Chagas disease, which can lead to death.

“Anybody who is bitten by these bugs should be very conscious of any flu symptoms, high fevers, swelling over the eye,” said Dawn Gouge, an entomologist with the University of Arizona.

The CDC estimates that there are 300,000 cases of Chagas in the U.S., with most of those contracted in other countries. But the family of the girl who was bitten had not traveled outside the country recently, the statement said.

According to the World Health Organization, more than six million people are estimated to be infected globally.

The CDC provided the following tips to avoid the pests:

  • People can prevent kissing bug infestation by placing outdoor lights away from dwellings such as homes, dog kennels, and chicken coops and turning off lights that are not in use.
  • Homeowners should also remove trash, wood, and rock piles from around the home and clear out any bird and animal nests from around the home.

Cracks and gaps should be inspected and sealed, and chimney flues should be tightly closed when they are not in use.



Another blood-sucking bug we need to be aware of.  For more:


The Kissing Bug – The Bug Squad Guide

Normally thought to be a Central American pest, it’s in the Southern United States; however, as seen in this article, its made it’s way around, just like ticks have.

This insect also flies.

Diagnosis of Chagas is made by identification of trypomastigotes in blood by microscopy. Circulating parasite levels decrease rapidly within a few months and are undetectable by most methods during the chronic phase.

Diagnosis of chronic Chagas disease is made by serologic tests for antibody to the parasite. A single test is not sufficiently sensitive and specific to make the diagnosis. For this reason, the standard approach is to apply two or more tests that use different techniques and that detect antibodies to different antigens. Commonly used techniques include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunofluorescent antibody test (IFA). Careful consideration of the patient’s history to identify possible risks for infection may be helpful.

According to the CDC, treatment is recommended for people diagnosed early in the course of infection (acute phase), babies with congenital infection, and for those with suppressed immune systems. Many patients with chronic infection may also benefit from treatment.

The two drugs used to treat infection with T. cruzi are nifurtimox and benznidazole. Benznidazole is approved by FDA for use in children 2–12 years of age and is available from www.benznidazoletablets.comExternal. Nifurtimox is not currently FDA approved but is currently available under investigational protocols from CDC. Side effects are fairly common with both drugs and tend to be more frequent and more severe with increasing age.

Common side effects of benznidazole treatment include the following:

  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Anorexia and weight loss
  • Insomnia

The most common side effects of nifurtimox include the following:

  • Anorexia and weight loss
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or vertigo

Contraindications for treatment include severe hepatic and/or renal disease. As safety for infants exposed through breastfeeding has not been documented, withholding treatment while breastfeeding is also recommended. For more on treatment:

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