In this section you will find answers to some common questions about Chagas disease. If your question is not included here, you can send it to us using the contact form and our experts will send you an answer.
No, not all kissing bugs transmit Chagas. There are some species that transmit the Chagas parasite and others that do not. Furthermore, even among the species that can transmit the parasite not all bugs are infected. Consequently some people who have been bitten or had contact with a kissing bug do not have Chagas disease. In many cases the bugs are born healthy and become infected when they bite a person infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease.
If you see a kissing bug you should catch it while covering your hand with a plastic bag to avoid all contact with the insect. If you are successful, you should take the bug to the nearest health centre where they can test it to check for Chagas infection. If you fail to catch the bug, you should take precautions to avoid being bitten. For example, use a mosquito net, check the room where you are going to sleep, and cover all food to prevent infection by oral transmission.
The best method is to catch the bug alive so that it can be screened for infection.
You must ensure that the blood you will receive has been screened, that is, that it has been tested for Chagas disease and that the result was negative.
You must ensure that the donor or donors have been tested for Chagas disease.
Yes, if you will be visiting rural or suburban areas. If possible, try to stay in houses with plastered walls and keep the lights on because sleeping bugs only come out when it is dark. Travellers are also advised to carry mosquito nets and to protect their food from contamination.
Sí, se puede volver a tener si vuelve a entrar en contacto con una vinchuca infectada, con transfusión de sangre o trasplante de órganos no controlados o con bebidas contaminadas.