Breaking News
September 19, 2018 - Researchers develop more accurate measure of body fat
September 19, 2018 - Doctors and students rally to support gun violence research, education
September 19, 2018 - LEO Pharma and MorphoSys announce expansion of strategic alliance to develop peptide-derived drugs
September 19, 2018 - Seniors in pain hop aboard the canna-bus
September 19, 2018 - New compound could prevent malaria parasites from maturing inside mosquito
September 19, 2018 - Scientists find alterations in blood flow in response to body position change
September 19, 2018 - UNC Health Care extends free access to virtual care service in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence
September 19, 2018 - Opioid Refills Rare After Rhinoplasty
September 19, 2018 - Corn, obesity, and navigating healthy eating choices as a parent
September 19, 2018 - Journal editor aims to prompt thoughtful review of ethics in precision health
September 19, 2018 - Researchers identify key step in how plant cells respond to pathogens
September 18, 2018 - Researchers analyze how exposure to silver nanoparticles affects zebrafish
September 18, 2018 - Study shows air pollution may be bad for the fetus
September 18, 2018 - Coffee May Have Another Perk for Kidney Patients
September 18, 2018 - Tongue-in-cheek Nobels honor nutritional analysis of cannibalism, roller-coaster kidney stones treatment
September 18, 2018 - Progress, priorities, challenges are focus of State of Stanford Medicine | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Established Alzheimer’s Risk Gene Has a New Role
September 18, 2018 - Hospitalization after antibiotic initiation found to be higher for people with Alzheimer’s disease
September 18, 2018 - Many children with special healthcare needs do not have access to ‘PCMH-concordant’ care
September 18, 2018 - Investigational nasal influenza vaccine tested in children and teens
September 18, 2018 - Lymphatic vessels surrounding the brain play crucial role in multiple sclerosis, research suggests
September 18, 2018 - New fiber laser-based ultrasound sensor may have potential applications in medical diagnostics
September 18, 2018 - Protect your heart and health during ‘dog days’ of summer
September 18, 2018 - Faculty receive awards for promise in biomedical research, clinical care | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Digital games for CVD-related self-management improve exercise capacity and energy expenditure
September 18, 2018 - Aluminum inclusions help enhance adsorption of chemo drugs onto active carbon delivery capsule
September 18, 2018 - Adding PET scans to CT imaging can change treatment for women with cervical cancer
September 18, 2018 - UCSF awarded $20 million grant to study impacts of new, emerging tobacco products
September 18, 2018 - Human brains may be wired to prefer lying on the couch, suggests research
September 18, 2018 - Zika virus vaccine shows promise for treatment of fatal glioblastoma
September 18, 2018 - Theravance Biopharma and Mylan to Report New Data from Phase 3 Studies of Yupelri (revefenacin) in Oral Presentation at European Respiratory Society International Congress 2018
September 18, 2018 - INSiGHT identifies unique retinal regulatory genes
September 18, 2018 - Diversity, science leadership grants awarded to student-faculty pairs | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Many parents blame electronics for sleep problems among teens
September 18, 2018 - Researchers study neuronal activity in brain that prevents individuals from doing physical activity
September 18, 2018 - Purifying Proteins from Mammalian Cell Culture
September 18, 2018 - Researchers map 3D structure of toxic proteins used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa to trigger infection
September 18, 2018 - Outcome of ACL reconstruction related to the way you move post-surgery
September 18, 2018 - Study aims to investigate risk factors for PPCs in surgical patients with gastric cancer
September 18, 2018 - Ardelyx Submits New Drug Application for Tenapanor for IBS-C
September 18, 2018 - Sociodemographic disparities in eyeglass use among elderly
September 18, 2018 - New Drug Shows Promise for Progressive Form of MS
September 18, 2018 - Babies exposed to higher levels of organochlorine compounds in womb may have worse lung function
September 18, 2018 - Women exposed to trauma in their lives gave birth to underweight male infants
September 18, 2018 - Probiotic supplementation may reduce use of antibiotics, scientific analysis shows
September 18, 2018 - Resveratrol decreases pain severity and levels of inflammatory biomarkers in osteoarthritis patients
September 18, 2018 - Research shows pollution is reaching the placenta
September 18, 2018 - KAIST researchers develop heart-targeting drug delivery technology using tannin acid
September 18, 2018 - Muscle relaxants used during general anesthesia can increase risk of pulmonary complications
September 18, 2018 - Silicone breast implants may increase risk of rare adverse outcomes in women
September 18, 2018 - Pediatricians Have a Role in Encouraging Play Among Children
September 18, 2018 - California’s Medicaid program hits ‘print’ when the feds need info
September 18, 2018 - Genes, environment and schizophrenia—new study finds the placenta is the missing link
September 18, 2018 - Boehringer Ingelheim announces study results of COPD patients treated with Spiolto Respimat
September 18, 2018 - PAREXEL launches Patient Innovation Center to improve drug development process
September 18, 2018 - Children’s National and NIAID launch pediatric clinical research partnership
September 18, 2018 - Researchers may be overlooking complexities in social relations of primates
September 18, 2018 - Key signaling molecule that helps stem cells make healthy bone declines as we age
September 18, 2018 - More women veterans with chronic pain use CIH therapies than men
September 18, 2018 - As Earth Warms, Heat-Related Deaths Will Multiply
September 18, 2018 - Labetalol use up for patients with preeclampsia and asthma
September 18, 2018 - MoreGrasp project shows significant results in field of thought-controlled grasp neuroprosthetics
September 18, 2018 - Drumming can benefit school children with autism
September 18, 2018 - Busyness can help people to make virtuous choices, research shows
September 18, 2018 - Two-minute bursts of in-class exercise breaks do not disrupt learning and teaching
September 18, 2018 - New online tools aid surgeons and specialists who care for older people
September 18, 2018 - Researchers use CRISPR to identify gene that helps cells resist flavivirus infection
September 18, 2018 - Brain’s support cells may play a central role in repetitive behaviors related to OCD
September 18, 2018 - Scientists discover novel mechanism by which synthesized proteins reach target compartment in cell
September 18, 2018 - Easy and rapid test for viral infections can cut antibiotic use, hospitalizations
September 18, 2018 - Gunshot victims more likely to require blood transfusions and die than other trauma patients
September 18, 2018 - Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase 1b/2 Clinical Trial of Sapacitabine With Olaparib in BRCA Mutant Breast Cancer
September 18, 2018 - Older adults fitted with cochlear implants exhibit poor brain function
September 18, 2018 - Inexpensive testing spurs cancer patients’ relatives to assess own disease risk | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Aging may have originated at the very beginning of life, says study
September 18, 2018 - New research on sperm quality updates advice for couples trying to conceive
September 18, 2018 - Paracetamol use in infancy may increase risk of developing asthma by the age of 18
September 18, 2018 - Promising gene therapy for ‘day blind’ sheep now safe for clinical trials in human patients
September 18, 2018 - New research shows evidence of soot from polluted air in placentas
September 17, 2018 - Expanding primary care buprenorphine treatment could curb opioid overdose crisis
New guide published to help battle fatal disease caused by kissing bugs

New guide published to help battle fatal disease caused by kissing bugs

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A guide to help battle a potentially fatal disease transferred by a blood-sucking insect called the kissing bug has been published by a task force led by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

While it may not make good bedtime reading, the new image-based guide from the Texas Chagas Task Force could keep you from falling victim to a disease caused by a parasite that the kissing bug carries. The parasite is Trypanosoma cruzi (T.cruzi), and the disease it causes is called Chagas disease. It is dubbed the silent killer because its symptoms are so elusive. If caught early, Chagas disease is treatable but if left undetected and untreated, it can eventually lead to problems such as heart failure, an enlarged heart or stroke.

“There’s still a widespread lack of knowledge about the insects that carry the parasite and this neglected disease, which often at first shows no signs whatsoever. Most people aren’t even aware of Chagas, let alone that it exists here in the United States,” said Paula Stigler-Granados, Ph.D., head of the task force and assistant professor at UTHealth School of Public Health in San Antonio. “We aim to change that by telling people all about it because early diagnosis and treatment are absolutely vital to avoid its potentially debilitating, even deadly, effects.”

Stigler-Granados wants everyone to be able to recognize the kissing bug and know that if they may have been bitten, or have been exposed to one, they need to tell their doctor and get tested.

“Everyone, especially in Texas, should know what these insects look like, how to avoid them and what to do if they happen to find one in or around their homes. It’s a complete myth that they are only found in mud huts. We see them everywhere, including million-dollar homes,” Stigler-Granados said. “This is an important guide, not only for the general public but also for physicians and veterinarians who are often on the frontline of talking with the public about the disease.”

The hot summer months are peak season for kissing bug activity in Texas, she said. Chagas disease is estimated to affect more than 7 million people worldwide. Although most prevalent in Latin America, kissing bugs and Chagas disease can also be found in the Southern United States.

Recent research has shown a high rate of kissing bugs infected with the T.cruzi parasite in Texas, amounting to 64 percent of captured insects in one study and 60 percent in a military study in the San Antonio area.

Kissing bugs often bite victims around the mouth or eyes while they sleep, thus leading to its name. But in reality, kissing bugs can bite anywhere on the body.

The disease is mainly transmitted through the feces of the insect, which gets into the bite wound. It can also be passed from mother to fetus and through contaminated blood products or even contaminated food or beverages.

Once people are infected, there may be no indication of contracting the disease for years or even decades. For those who do develop symptoms, the disease can begin to affect the heart or digestive systems, at which point it can become potentially fatal.

“This mysterious disease itself does not present with a lot of symptoms initially, if any at all. You may have a spot or a welt from the bite, or you experience mild flu-like symptoms,” Stigler-Granados said. “Ultimately Chagas can progress to the chronic symptomatic phase, which typically manifests itself as heart disease, although gastrointestinal disease is also possible.

Around 20 to 30 percent of infected persons will enter the chronic symptomatic stage of Chagas disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The majority of sufferers remain undiagnosed until the chronic symptomatic stage, highlighting the need for greater awareness and early intervention.

Physicians can prescribe a medication to treat Chagas disease in adults and children. The CDC can also assist with coordinating treatment using other drug options.

Facts about the disease, maps and pictures of the multiple species of kissing bugs found in the Southern United States are featured in the comprehensive guide. Life-size young and adult insects are shown, pointing out their distinguishing characteristics. It also identifies look-alike insects, which don’t transmit the parasite, to help people rule out possible suspects.

“If in doubt, you should take the necessary precautions and submit the insect for testing, which will not only assist with prevention but also surveillance of the disease,” Stigler-Granados said.

Common kissing bug habitats, such as beneath porches, dog houses and kennels, chicken coops, and rodent nests, are discussed.

Kissing bugs should never be handled with bare hands or crushed, due to the parasite’s presence in its gut. Clear guidance is provided on how to safely collect a suspected kissing bug and how to send it to be tested if suspected of biting someone and/or if found inside the home or if found outside the home.

The guide was funded by a five-year $544,329 cooperative agreement grant from the CDC to conduct outreach and education on Chagas in Texas. More than 20 experts who are part of the task force, along with close collaboration with Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, were involved in its production.

Top tips on how to keep kissing bugs at bay

  • Bring pets, such as dogs and cats, inside at night if possible or keep them in a place where they will not be exposed to insects from the outdoors. Check their bedding.
  • Seal cracks or openings into your home, especially around windows and doors leading outside.
  • Elevate woodpiles and keep them away from your home.
  • Get rid of pests, such as rodents, living under or near your home in consultation with pest management professionals.
  • Remove piles, excess leaves, and animal nests or burrows around your property.
  • Keep chimney flues closed when not in use.

Source:

https://www.uth.edu/media/story.htm?id=7ecec551-0b04-4376-b9c0-96c2fb86e33c

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles