A tropical parasitic illness, Chagas disease is transmitted by Trypanosoma cruzi, a species also known as kissing bugs owing to their habit of feeding around the areas of people’s mouths or vampire bugs for their propensity to feed on the blood of their hosts. Chagas disease produces a range of unpleasant symptoms, but it’s the tendency of the illness to become chronic and progress that can lead to life-threatening consequences. This disease is present in multiple places around the world.
Typically, Chagas disease is transmitted by the kissing bug or triatomine bug. The bugs themselves become infected with the microscopic parasites after feeding on a host with the disease. While feeding, the infected insects drop their feces on the skin. As the person scratches their skin, they invariably introduce the parasites into the body, though they may also enter through the mouth, eyes, or a pre-existing cut. Triatomine bugs typically feed at night while the hosts are sleeping.
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