A bug that was once found only in other countries has made it to the United States, and moving north.

The blood-sucking bug that can spread disease and is nicknamed for biting people around their mouths and leaving disease-carrying poop is marching north.

The Centers for Disease Control says "kissing bugs" were once only found in South America, but have been making their way northward - with the insect found as far north as Delaware last year.

Adult kissing bugs, or Triatoma sanguisuga, are about 0.75 to 1.25 inches in length. Most species have a very characteristic band around the edge of the body that is striped with orange or red markings - in fact, they look a lot like another bug we're familiar with in Central New York - the box elder bug.

They're called "kissing bugs" because they tend to bite the face - especially around the mouth - where they can leave poop that can transmit 'Chagas disease' - a disease that can prove fatal. Symptoms typically include severe redness, itching, swelling, welts and hives, CDC officials say. It can be spread from mother to baby, by blood transfusion and during organ transplants.

As yet, the kissing bug hasn't been spotted in New York - but if you're traveling southward this summer, be aware of this insect.



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