Dangerous ‘Kissing Bug' Spreads to More Than Half of US, Including California

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a potentially deadly insect known as the "kissing bug" has made its way into every southern state, impacting more than half of the United States.

According to CDC, there have been reports of it in California, which noted four of the 11 different species of the bug also known as triatomines have been spotted in the state.

The bug typically feeds on the blood of mammals, including humans and pets, biting them on the face (lip area).

Precautions to prevent house infestation include:

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, rash, diarrhea, and vomiting. It can also cause heart failure and intestinal damage.

The CDC says, do not touch or squash the bug. Place a container on top of the bug, slide the bug inside, and fill it with rubbing alcohol or, if not available, freeze the bug in the container.

Then, you may take it to your local extension service, health department, or a university laboratory for species identification. In the event that none of these resources is available in your area, you may contact CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria (parasites@cdc.gov) for species identification or T. cruzi testing.

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