In July of 2018, a child in Delaware was bitten by a “kissing bug,” which transmits the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagas disease, the CDC recently reported. Fortunately, the insect was not infected with the parasite and the child was unharmed.
The child was bitten in her home in Kent County, Delaware, and her parents contacted both the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Delaware Department of Agriculture for help. Staff at the Delaware DPH identified the insect as Triatoma sanguisuga and they confirmed the identification with Texas A&M University’s Kissing Bug Citizen Science Program, which documents and collects T sanguisuga in the United States, and the CDC. The family had not traveled outside the United States (US), making this the first definitively confirmed sighting of the insect in Delaware.
Kuehn B. Delaware Kissing Bug. JAMA. 2019;321(22):2156. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6917
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