Insect-Borne Chagas Disease Becoming More Prevalent in the US

By Dr. Mercola

Triatomines, affectionately knows as “kissing defects, ” have constituted headlines lately. Harmonizing to U.S. state officials, disease caused by such bugs is on the rise, and in the long term can be quite serious. Known as Chagas disease, 1, 2 the infection is contracted through little bit from a triatomine, a nocturnal bug that crawls around on your face while you’re sleeping.

It will typically bite all over the lips or gazes — hence the nickname “kissing bug.” Most people report they did not feel the chew. Like other bloodsucking insects, the triatomine sucks your blood. It then situates parasite-infested feces near or into the open wound.

The parasite responsible for the disease, Trypanosoma cruzi, lives in the bug’s digestive organization, and researchers have found between 50 3 and 64 percent4 of triatomines experimented are infected with this parasite.

Chagas Prevalence on the Rise

According to the U.S. Midsts for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC ), an estimated 300,000 Americans have Chagas disease, 5 including 40,000 pregnant women, 6 and prevalence is believed to be on the rise. The canker was first reported in Texas in 2010, but has since been identified in 28 states.7

Chagas disease has also been identified in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Australia, Japan and the U.K.8 Bolivia is thought to have the most significant Chagas prevalence in the world.9 Globally, Chagas disease is thought to be responsible for 10,000 deaths each year.

In South and The countries of central america — where Chagas disease is most prevalent — an estimated 12 million people are polluted, 10 and while it is not transmissible via person-to-person contact, you are able to contract it via blood transfusion, organ transplantation and/ or devouring meat in which the bug has defecated.

Disturbingly, a 2014 analyze discovered 1 in 6,500 blood donors tested positive for Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite held liable for Chagas. In April 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two screening tests to screen blood, tissue and organ donations for the fact that there is Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies11 to prevent the spread of the disease.

An polluted mom are also welcome to transmit Chagas to her unborn child. As was noted by The Charlotte Observer: 12

“Chagas often has no evidences at first, in accordance with the CDC, but it can sneak in the body for years and eventually generate serious problems such as an enlarged mettle, enlarged colon, heart attack and more …

‘Chagas disease generates early mortality and substantial disorder, which is frequently occurs in the most productive person, young adults,( and) reactions in an important economic loss, ’ a medical delegates of the American Heart Association said … ”

What to Do if You Find a Kissing Bug or Believe You’ve Been Bitten by One

So far, 11 categories of triatomines have been identified in the U.S.13 The more common are Triatoma sanguisuga and Triatoma gerstaeckeri, both of which measure about 1 inch in portion. You can find photos to help with identification on the Texas A& M University website.14

Should you find a fault suspected of being a triatomine, you can send it to the Texas A& M University research team for inspection. The constitute and teaches can be found here. Details you need to provide include ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

The point of where it was felt

The date and time of day you met the glitch

Whether the imperfection was alive or dead when you noticed it

What the defect was doing when you received it

The bug tends to hide out in crannies in their own homes during the day and only come out at night. If traveling, avoid slumber in apartments with unplastered adobe walls, as this provides an superb hiding place for the little critters.

If you believe you’ve been burnt by a hugging bug, whether you’ve discovered the defect or not, aim medical notice and cause them know you doubt having been burnt by a triatomine.

If your health provider is unfamiliar with Chagas, they should contact their nation state department and/ or CDC.15 Treatment, which concerns unapproved experimental stimulants to kill the parasitic infection( which is why you can only to be treated after approval by the CDC ), is most effective when implemented during the early, acute phase.

The antiparasitic doses use are not harmless, however. As so many others, they come with a schedule of side effects, straddling from insomnia and nausea to peripheral neuropathy and anorexia.16

At present, there is no known effective care for the later stages of the disease. In one contemplate, 17 treatment with the antiparasitic benznidazole had no impact on reducing cardiac complications from Chagas, although there is the remedy lowered different levels of the parasite in the patients’ blood.

Acute and Chronic Phases of Chagas

Triatomines can spread Chagas disease to humans and animals alike. In humans, the disease has two manifestation phases: an acute phase, which is capable of last for a few weeks or months, and a chronic period, which is capable of evident up to two decades later. While many have no indications at all during the course of its acute phase, some may experience ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND



Body aches


Skin rash

Loss of appetite



Mild liver or spleen enlargement

Swollen glands

Local swelling

Romana’s sign( swelling on the eyelid near the gnaw, or where fecal matter was rubbed into your look)

As for the chronic time, Texas A& M illustrates ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

“Of those who are infected with the parasite, approximately 30 percent is under threat of developing chronic Chagas disease. Chronic Chagas disease includes cardiac complications and/ or intestinal complications, and these mansions may not be apparent until decades after the initial infection.

Cardiac signs include enlarged soul, coronary failure, neutered heart rate, and/ or coronary thrombosis. Intestinal signals include an enlarged esophagus or colon, which can cause difficulties with digestion.

Concerned men should discuss experimenting options with their physicians. Treatment of Chagas disease can be difficult, and drugs are available only through the CDC following consultations with a physician.”

Lyme Disease Is a Much Greater Concern

While all of this may sound unnerve, Chagas disease is not as common as Lyme disease, with which 300,000 Americans are diagnosed each year.18, 19 This cancer, initially are presented in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, has now spread across every commonwealth in the U.S.20

The black-legged ticking( Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer ticking) was linked to transmitting of the disease in 1977, and although some still attribute communication exclusively to clicks, the bacteria can also be spread by other insects, including mosquitoes, spiders, fleas and mites.

In 1982, Willy Burgdorfer, Ph.D ., distinguished the bacterium responsible for the infection: Borrelia burgdorferi21 — a cousin to the spirochete bacterium that generates syphilis. Since then, five subspecies and 300 damages of B. burgdorferi have been identified, many of which have developed defiance to our various antibiotics.

Like Chagas, symptoms of Lyme disease often start with ruthless tirednes, returning fever, headaches and achy muscles or braces. Over season, these manifestations may progress to muscle spasms, loss of machine coordinating and/ or intermittent paralysis, meningitis or mind problems.22, 23

Diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cardiomyopathy, gastritis and chronic lethargy may also be phrases of chronic Lyme disease. Unfortunately, there’s no simple-minded lane to diagnose Lyme.

It’s also known as “the great imitator, ”24 due to its ability to simulated many other disorders, including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic myalgic encephalomyelitis, fibromyalgia, ALS, ADHD and Alzheimer’s infection. As a result, misdiagnosis is very common. Negative experiment results are also more the norm than certain exceptions when you have Lyme, as the spirochete has the ability to pollute your white blood cells.

Diagnosing and Treating Lyme Disease

Download Interview Transcript

The reason blood tests are so unreliable for diagnosing Lyme is because the tests rely on the normal purpose of white cells, but when these cells are infected with Lyme, they lose the ability to produce antibodies. Hence , nothing shows up on the test. This is known as the “Lyme paradox, ” and involves putting care before diagnosis.

The idea is that by treating the infection, your white blood cell will recapture their capacity to attach a normal immune response, which can then be picked up by blood tests. For more in-depth informed about Lyme disease and its management, I recommend listening to my previous interview with Lyme expert Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt.

According to Klinghardt, the IGeneX Lab in Palo Alto is the gold standard for Lyme testing, as “theyre using” two different antigens in their testing. There’s also a useful incidental assessment “ve called the” CD57 test.

“CD-5 7” is a specific group of natural executioner cells that specifically damaged by the Lyme spirochetes. Hence, if your lists stop to a certain stage, it is an indirect indicator that you may have Lyme disease, because the only known infection to suppress CD57 is that of B. burgdorferi.

Lyme and Chagas Prevention Tips

Whether we’re talking about Chagas or Lyme, prevention is key, considering the difficulty of management. As mentioned, triatomine burns generally occur at night, while you’re slumber, and the bug gains access to your form at night by hiding in crevices in the walls.

Adobe-style walls are known to be more likely to harbor the insect. Sleeping outdoors in a tent or rustic accommodations may also foster your risk of being bitten. Lyme-bearing tick gnaws, on the other hand, often occur outdoors, so commonsense avoidance approaches for Lyme disease include: 25

Avoid tick-infested areas such as bud collections around trees. Go in the middle of lines and eschew brushing against long grasses on footpath slinks. Don’t sit on records or wooden stumps, and bypass setting up tent or sloping a tent in areas covered with leaves

Wear light-colored long heaves and long sleeves to make it easier to receive the ticks. Fold your throbs into socks and wear shut shoes and a hat, extremely if venturing out into wooded neighbourhoods. Too stow your shirt into your gasps, and wear gardening gauntlets when gardening or working in the graze

Ticks, specially nymphal tickings, are very tiny. You want to find and remove them before they pierce, so do a exhaustive ticking check upon returning inside, and stop checking for a few days after exposure. Too check your bunking for a few days following exposure

If you find that a tick has latched onto you, it’s very important to remove it accurately. For detailed instructions, delight attend’s Tick Removal page.26 Once removed, make sure you save the tick so that it can be tested for existence of pathogenic creatures

Your babies can become a legion for tickings and may also become infected with Lyme disease, so be sure to check their fleece and collars

Essential Oils May be a Safer Bet for Lyme and Chagas Vectors Alike Than Toxic Insect Repellents

As for using substance repellents for either of these bugs, I do not recommend using them immediately on your bark as this will be presented by toxins directly into your mas. If you use them, scatter them on the outside of your invests, taking care to avoid breath the spraying fumes. I recommend scaping insect repellant containing N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, also known as DEET, as it is a known neurotoxin.

According to a study27 published in February 2018, crucial petroleums from the South American embeds Azorella trifurcata, 28 Senecio oreophyton J. Remy29 and Senecio pogonias Cabrera30 effectively fought the Chagas vector Triatoma infestans.31 All three crucial lubricants added between 60 and 70 percentage protection at 24 hours compared to DEET.

Similarly, petroleum of lemon eucalyptus has been found to keep clicks and mosquitoes at bay for at least seven hours. You can predict more about this in “This Natural Bug Repellent Works Better Than DEET.”

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