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Dangerous blood-sucking 'kissing bugs' spreading to Florida

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(CDC.gov)

MIAMI – Dangerous blood-sucking insects that can cause illness leading to heart failure or sudden death are spreading to Florida.

According to a new report, triatomine bugs, a.k.a., kissing bugs, have begun migrating to Florida, and infections in the state are rising, WFTV reports.

The bugs cause Chagas disease, which can lead to cardiac or intestinal issues in up to 30 percent of those infected. Over 300,000 have already been affected by the bugs.

Infections are caused when the bugs dig into skin, leaving feces behind that contain the parasites that make people sick.

The bugs are most prevalent at night, when people are sleeping. They bite areas near the eyes and mouth.

Symptoms include fatigue, body aches, rash, and swollen eyelids. However, most people do not show any signs of infection.

The report states that no chemical sprays are currently approved to battle triatomine bugs.

Precautionary measures include, sealing cracks and gaps near windows, removing wood and brush near house, screening doors or windows and having pets sleep indoors.