Kissing bug spreads to more than half of the United States

Kissing Bug Spreads To The South

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the bugs, also known as triatomine bugs, have now been reported in more than half of the states, most recently spreading to the south in Georgia and Arizona.

The kissing bug gets its name because it commonly bites people in the face and lips.

Experts say it feeds on human blood, but the bug itself isn't so deadly, but the parasite that causes Chagas disease -- which attacks tissue and muscles in the body -- is deadly.

NBC 5 reports that even dogs in Texas have also contracted the bug. About 10 percent of dogs in South Texas animal shelters tested positive for "chagas" disease.

To lower your risk of coming into contact with these bugs you should protect yourself like you would from any other insects by sealing any gaps or holes in your home, purchasing an insect screen and keeping your pets inside often or in clean outdoor areas away from brush.

For more information about the triatomine bug and precautions, read the full report from the CDC.

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