‘Kissing bug’ disease more lethal than previously thought

‘Kissing bug’ disease more lethal than previously thought

A new study has warned that the so-called Kissing Bugs, the insects that spread Chagas disease, are far more dangerous than previously estimated.

Kissing Bugs bite humans close around their lips and faces as they sleep, and then defecate into the wound with their feces, allowing the wound to harbor an infectious parasite, dubbed Trypanasoma cruzi.

The dangerous parasite then enters the victim’s bloodstream, causing Chagas disease that is also called trypanosomiasis.

According to the new study, infection with the dangerous parasite could increase risk of death by up to 2-3 times. The researchers reached the conclusion after analyzing data from more than 8,500 individuals who donated blood between 1996 and 2000. They also compared mortality rates among individuals who tested positive and negative for T. cruzi infection.

Lead author Dr. Ligia Capuani said, “In every age category, people who had Chagas died more than people who didn’t have Chagas. So if you’re infected early in life, you should be treated.”

The alarming findings of the new study published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.