After a night out with her friend’s Rachael Steven’s woke up to a horrifying sight. The night before had gone smoothly and she could not recall having and mishaps that might have caused the eye to be so swollen. She decided to visit her local hospital for a check up.
The diagnosis she received from the doctor sent a shiver down her spin.
She had been diagnosed with Chagas disease after receiving a kiss from the kissing bug known as – The Assasin bug.
Chagas does have some very serious developing symptoms when left untreated. Especially for children who are frequently bitten by insects in warmer climes, it’s very easy to let these various bites go unattended because they are so common. When you don’t know the identity of the insect, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Watch closely for any presenting symptoms which might develop in the wake of bite, particularly redness, swelling and fever. The fever is always a good thing, since it is the body’s way of exhibiting a healthy immune response.
How can I keep triatomine bugs away from my home?
Again, from the CDC site, here is a list of measures that can be taken to remove a conducive environment for the offending parasite-bearing insects known as triatomine bugs:
Other precautions to prevent house infestation include:
• Sealing cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors
• Removing wood, brush, and rock piles near your house
• Using screens on doors and windows and repairing any holes or tears
• If possible, making sure yard lights are not close to your house (lights can attract the bugs)
• Sealing holes and cracks leading to the attic, crawl spaces below the house, and to the outside
• Having pets sleep indoors, especially at night
• Keeping your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs
So, now you’re practically an expert on Chagas, a disease to be prevented not feared. There are many excellent reference sites on the internet which can be consulted if you suspect either an infection or infestation. Given that the southern swath of the lower forty-eight states is now appreciably warmer in temperature, especially with an emerging pattern of milder winters, this health threat does loom larger on the horizon. The cold winters of the past used to kill many seasonal insects coming up from the south, but that can no longer be relied upon. Therefore, we can take all the proper precautions listed above, as well as respond appropriately in the case of a full-blown Chagas infection.
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