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Americans at Risk from Deadly Heart Parasites?
Old 12-11-2014, 04:14 PM   #1
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Americans at Risk from Deadly Heart Parasites?

Time for me to update "Reasons you don't want to move to Texas"...

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The kissing bug may have the most misleadingly cute name in entomology. It bites, rather than smooches, its victims around the mouth or face. But far worse than the bite itself is what may find its way into it: wriggling worm-like parasitic protists called Trypanosoma cruzi that teem in the feces of these bugs, which they deposit without regard for their victims directly onto their face. The parasites may get rubbed into the wound by a sleeper scratching either bite or bug, and eventually burrow into victims’ hearts. There they riddle the tissue for decades, feeding on blood or lymph and triggering a cascade of events that may cause fatal heart disease decades later in about a third of victims.
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Until now, Americans were thought to be safe from the pernicious parasite and its persistent host unless they travelled to Latin America, where the disease is common. Now, scientists are coming to the uneasy realization that some Americans — at least in hot spots like southeast Texas — may be more vulnerable to infection right here at home than previously suspected. And not just from kissing bugs, but perhaps also from a hitherto unsuspected source: bed bugs.
Americans May Be More at Risk from Deadly Heart Parasite Than Realized | Scientific American Blog Network
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #2
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As long as you don't have a hatched roof home, and no screens and don't sleep with your windows open, you don't have much risk.

And there is even a question of whether our local kissing bug deposits things like the central American ones do.

OK dang, I didn't know about the bed bugs!

It's theoretical at the moment, but keep it on the list!
Quote:
Still, there is no evidence that bed bugs can transmit T. cruzi to people and it’s too early to guess whether it's possible. “I think it was a good paper and a well-done preliminary experiment,” says Jenni Peterson, a PhD student at Princeton University who studies the ecology of infectious disease and specializes in Chagas disease. “Chagas disease transmission is complex and dependent on a number of factors and so it is premature to say much more than this.” Peterson, who was not part of the research team, also points out that the exact timing of the bed bug defecation will be important. If bed bugs don’t typically poop on people after a bite, transmission is less likely.

Bed bugs also have different behavioral patterns than kissing bugs, which could affect the spread of the parasite. For example, bed bugs don’t typically move around as much as their cousins, which might mean they’re able to bite fewer people, lessening the chance of transmission. Chagas disease in endemic areas also involves reservoirs of non-human animals that can host T. cruzi including guinea pigs—which are raised for food in Peru—and dogs. Bed bugs do feed on a variety of animals in the lab. In parts of Eastern Europe, some populations of bed bugs feed on wild bats, although these particular bed bugs don’t interact with people, and there are also anecdotes from pest controllers that the bugs occasionally feed on pets. Still, it isn’t clear whether bed bugs would regularly feed on animals in or near a home when a human host is available.
Bed Bugs And Chagas Disease: Don’t Worry Quite Yet | Popular Science
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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OK dang, I didn't know about the bed bugs!
That one really got my attention.

Maybe we'll keep RVing longer than planned rather than risk playing 'bed bug roulette'...
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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Chikungunya, Chagas disease, we Texans are doomed, I tell ya, doomed!

Chikungunya cases in Mexico climb to 74 | Outbreak News Today
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:52 PM   #5
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Hmmmm...I think I have the kissing bug...perhaps I should be checked by my doc.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Hmmmm...I think I have the kissing bug...perhaps I should be checked by my doc.
The best way to deal with this kissing bug is to pass it on...

Ha
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:07 PM   #7
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Man, those two bugs down here will surely kill the Texas oil boom.....oh, wait...I don't hear the drilling....
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:11 PM   #8
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The best way to deal with this kissing bug is to pass it on...

Ha
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:35 PM   #9
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The University of Texas at El Paso has released this recent update to Chagas disease in southern Texas. If the samples from their Indio Mountains research station are representative of other areas.......

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A deadly parasite that causes Chagas disease is widespread in a common Texas insect, according to a new study by University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) researchers. The finding suggests that the risk of Texans contracting the disease may be higher than previously thought.
UTEP Research Finds High Rate of Texas Bugs Carrying Chagas Disease | UTEP News
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:32 PM   #10
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Guess I'll have to join the pooch in taking heart worm preventatives.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:42 PM   #11
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Guess I'll have to join the pooch in taking heart worm preventatives.
Or keep your nose out of the grass....
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:24 PM   #12
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is this a trick to simply stop folks from moving to Texas ?
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:04 AM   #13
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Chagas is nasty. This is no bueno.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:56 AM   #14
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I think that diseases coming in from other parts of the world has only begun for us.

Between easy air travel, lack of vaccinations (here and elsewhere) and social pressures, we're going to be seeing all sorts of odd outbreaks. Heck, we had a few people walking around with Ebola last year.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:54 PM   #15
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I read recently that the US blood supply is screened for this parasite (since ~2007) and some people find out that they have it when they get a letter from the blood bank.
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The prevalence of Chagas-positive blood donors is estimated by various studies to widely range between about one positive case per 2,000-29,000 donors.
http://www.medicinenet.com/chagas_disease/page5.htm
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:16 PM   #16
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We recently had poisonous snakes come up on our beaches in SoCal

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Old 10-18-2015, 05:17 PM   #17
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:04 PM   #18
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I will take my chances with the tsunamis, the volcanoes and the earthquakes. Texas lost me with the fire ants and the mosquitoes. We also have poisonous snakes and spiders, so that is a wash.
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