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Are Bug Kisses Dangerous? Here's what to know



Dear Dr. Mani,

My son found a funny looking bug in the backyard. When we went to identify him, we realized it was a kiss! Aren't they dangerous? Why are they dangerous?

Thanks for the question.

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A kiss is a blood sucking insect that attacks humans for food. They tend to bite around the mouth and eye area on the face. These bugs transmit a dangerous disease called Chagas. Chagas is transmitted through the faeces of the kiss. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, rashes or hives, nausea, seizures, shortness of breath and sometimes inflammation of the heart and kidneys.

If you or your child are bitten by a kiss, disinfect the bite site with soap and water. Remember that a bite in itself will not lead to Chagas, but if you do not wash the place of the bite, there may be consequences. Use an itch cream or calamine if the bite continues to itch. If it swells, apply ice to the area. Some people have deadly allergic reactions to bug bites. If you begin to struggle to breathe, seek medical attention.

If you think the bite is infected or if you find signs of Chagas, contact your doctor immediately.

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9659007] The kiss can be found in the warm southern states. They are more common in Mexico and Central and South America. Kissing bugs carrying Chagas are less likely to be found in the US because the climate is not as warm.

Kissing bedbugs lurk in cracks in homes, places where cats and dogs sleep, and near beds. They are looking for a host so sleeping places for animals and humans are the first choice to kiss the bug.

Kissing bedbugs have a cone-shaped head, thin, long antennae and very long thin legs. The bugs are tear-shaped and have yellow or red stripes.

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If you've been bitten by a kiss or other glitch, be sure to clean the bite area with soap and water. If you feel sick afterwards, whether it is a kiss or not, seek a doctor.

Have a healthy question about Dr. Mani? Send us an email at AskDrManny@FoxNews.com


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