There are a handful of disease-carrying bugs that we know to steer clear of like mosquitoes and ticks. There is another disease-carrying bug that has caused issues in 26 U.S. States already, including some of our neighbors. It is only a matter of time before they get to Idaho if they haven't already. Health officials are urging people to capture, kill and report sightings of these dangerous insects immediately.

According to Allie Hogan from Best Life and researchers at Texas A&M University, there are 11 types of kissing bugs that have been found in the U.S. in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Kissing bugs can carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), which can result in Chagas disease, a potentially fatal infection for people and animals. According to the Texas A&M University scientists, about 55 percent of kissing bugs are infected with the T. cruzi parasite.

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According to the statement from Nebraska's DHHS, "Anyone who has seen kissing bugs in their home or who thinks they may have been bitten by one should talk to their doctor about getting tested for Chagas disease."

So what is Chagas disease? Well it can be hard to pin point because some infected humans or animals show no signs while others have fever, fatigue, body aches, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 people in the U.S. have Chagas disease. Out of those one in three experience a heart attack, stroke, or sudden death due to the illness. The CDC estimates that Chagas disease is responsible for approximately 10,000 deaths per year worldwide.

Kissing bugs are found inside and outside. They are a real problem in Nebraska right now and The Nebraska DHHS say kissing bugs can be found under porches, between rocky structures, under cement, in nests or animal burrows, in outdoor dog houses, in chicken coops, and in rock, wood, or brush piles. They are mostly nocturnal and attracted to porch lights.

Kissing bugs are just under an inch long with flat black bodies and orange or red markings around their sides

Kissing bug - Triatoma Sanguisuga, photo from dhhs.ne.gov

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