Friday, June 01, 2012

Why I Am Hoarding Bug Repellent

Oh, awesome.  Just when I was running out of ways to feed my hypochondriacal tendencies, along comes this spiffy news item about a burgeoning epidemic in the Americas caused (wouldn't you know it?) by a lowly insect.

"It likes to bite you on the face," CNN reported. "It's called the kissing bug. When it ingests your blood, it excretes the parasite at the same time. When you wake up and scratch the itch, the parasite moves into the wound and you're infected."

Obligatory magnified bug photo
So, let's see.  This disease (called Chagas - I don't know why) involves a bug that not only bites you, it also poops on you.  Have I mentioned that I already hate bugs?  Oh, yes, I have.   Many times, in fact.  Well, now I hates them even more. 

But wait! There's more!  According to the New York Times, in the end stage of this disease, your heart or your intestines just might explode. 

Like I said, awesome.  Pass the DEET, will ya?


[Bug image: New York Times]

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12 comments:

  1. I already have nightmares about bugs creeping under my skin. I may have watched a few too many horror movies. So thanks. Thanks a lot. My skin is crawling now.

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  2. You're welcome. Misery does love company, you know...

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  3. Here's some more information that may help: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=silent-killer-chagas-disease

    Most people with Chagas in the US caught it somewhere else, sounds like. And you're far from the area of concern. But I will look again at that bite near my daughter's eye, so thanks. (I think.)

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    Replies
    1. That link wasn't reassuring at all! These bugs are already in Arizona and California! Gah! Run for Canada! Run!

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    2. Dangit. I live in Arizona (not by choice, thank you) and we already have killer bees and scorpions. I'm never going outside again. And now not just because it was 111 degrees today!

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  4. Thank you. I so needed to hear this - not - as I watch my five year old scratching at the bites he got yesterday playing in the yard. UUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH.

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  5. Just another reason to stay living a bit north, where our cold winters keep the super-bug populations a bit lower :-)

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  6. I blame Monsanto for this. Don't ask me why, I just do.

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  7. I read that article last night and had to go look it up elsewhere because it seemed like sensationalism to me. And it was. I figure my odds are still higher of being bitten by a brown recluse (which has already happened to me once, and it swelled up like a mosquito bite, then oozed for a day or two, and that was it, so even that isn't 100% fatal).

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  8. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    "The disease was named after the Brazilian physician and infectologist Carlos Chagas, who first described it in 1909," Wikipedia.

    Brazilian infectologists get all the good flagellate protozoan-caused diseases.

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  9. My neighbor (who overshares more than me) discussed at length the bug bites on her face. I'm only a little sorry that I hadn't read this first... because it would have been cruel -- but necessary -- to share this information with her.

    I am not playing croquet with my family right now because of the mosquitoes. Those critters love me.

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