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'Kissing bug' disease: The situation in the U.S. may be much worse than you think

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  • 'Kissing bug' disease: The situation in the U.S. may be much worse than you think

    Source: http://newsok.com/kissing-bug-diseas...le/feed/755740


    'Kissing bug' disease: The situation in the U.S. may be much worse than you think
    Published on NewsOK Modified: November 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm Published: November 4
    (c) 2014, The Washington Post.

    Researchers at the annual gathering of tropical medicine experts on Tuesday warned of a deadly disease from abroad that is threatening the health of more and more Americans. They weren't talking about Ebola, but Chagas, the "kissing bug" disease.

    ... Until recently it was considered a problem only in Mexico, Central America and South America. Over the past year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has seen cases across half the United States, but in most cases the victims were believed to have been infected abroad.

    Now a team of researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston is challenging that assumption. During a presentation at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans, epidemiologist Melissa Nolan Garcia said her team had been following 17 Houston-area residents who had been infected. At least six of them appeared to have been infected locally as they had had insignificant travel outside the United States. Most of the patients spent a lot of time outdoors or lived in rural areas where the bugs are thought to live. The Baylor group also collected 40 kissing bugs near homes in 11 central-southern Texas counties and found that half had fed on human blood as well as that of a dozen kinds of animals ranging from dogs to raccoons...
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