La Message Board Archives

Re: Kiss-of Death? Meet the Kissing Bug!

Posted by Pablo on November 8, 2014, 6:19 pm, in reply to "Kiss-of Death? Meet the Kissing Bug!"

I wonder if there's any Chaga's disease ever reported in and around the La Manzanilla area. Would not want to get this disease, that's for sure. I remember it well from my Medical Entomology course "way back when" (yes, I am or was a "bug man"/entomologist), but thought of it more being a problem in south america, where the disease is very rampant. Not a problem at all for anyone sleeping under a solid roof or with a mosquito net, but sleeping under a thatched roof without a net would probably not be advisable unless you want to risk receiving a "besito del muerto".

The insect is part of a group called assassin bugs (family Reduviidae), which also includes their cousins, the ambush bugs. Trouble with Chaga's is you may never really have any symptoms at all for 20 or 30 years and then suddenly it's "lights out", as many of your organs have become super-enlarged (organomegaly).

Would be interesting to know what the locals know of these insects and what they call them. The possible names I found were benchuca, vinchuca and chipo. Anyone care to ask around of their neighbours down there and report back? Could someone ask the doctor perhaps?

These bugs are not stopping me from coming to LM!!!

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