The American Heart Association has put out a warning about an insect, nicknamed the 'kissing bug,' that spreads Chagas disease, which is potentially fatal. The AHA has reported cases of Chagas disease in the Bay State.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the bugs, which have been discovered in Massachusetts are mostly found in Central and South America, but have become more common in areas that it normally isn't found.

Chagas disease can cause, stroke, heart failure and sudden death. It affects approximately 300,000 people every year in the United States. The 'kissing bugs' get that nickname because they tend to bite people on the face. It's worth mentioning that not all kissing bugs carry the parasite that causes Chagas disease.

As reported by WCVB in Boston, the insect bite itself isn't what you should be worried about. Dr. Robert Springer explains: “So while they're biting you, 'kissing' you in the middle of the night, they also happen to be defecating there," Springer said. "You wake up the next morning, you're wiping the sleep out of your eye and you've just moved infected excrement into your eye and into your mouth mucous membrane. Then you become infected.”

PetMD also warns of the kissing bug bites for your family pets as well.


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