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What are the symptoms of a conehead kissing bug insect bite?

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Quick Answer

The only symptoms of a conenose kissing bug insect bite are redness and itching, most commonly on the tender parts of the face, according to Texas A & M University. Uncommon in the United States, but more common in Central America, kissing bugs transmit Chagas' disease.

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Full Answer

Kissing bugs are named for their habit of biting people on the face, Texas A & M University says. The bite itself is generally delivered while people are asleep, as the bugs are nocturnal. These bites are relatively gentle and painless. They feed exclusively on the blood of vertebrate animals with long, stabbing mouthparts that tuck under their bodies when not in use. They sometimes also bite, in decreasing frequency, hands, arms, feet, head and trunk.

Kissing bugs are carriers for the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the organism that causes Chagas' disease, according to Texas A & M University. The organism is not transmitted via the bite itself but instead in feces they leave on victim's skin. Scratching can give it access to the blood, as can transfer to the eyes or mouth via the hands. Young kissing bugs become infected by feeding on one of the vertebrate carriers of the diseases, which commonly include armadillos, opossums, rodents, bats, cats and dogs.

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