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

Called a silent killer because it’s often hard to diagnose in the early stages, Chagas is a parasitic infection that can lead to serious cardiac and intestinal complications and even death. It typically spreads through blood-sucking “kissing” bugs that bite on people’s faces during the night and is estimated to affect 7 to 8 million people worldwide. The disease can also be spread from blood transfusions, organ transplants and congenital transfer from mother to child, according to the CDC. 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.

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