As a preventative measure, the CDC has issued a warning to be on the lookout for the blood-sucking "kissing bug" that is known to pass on the potentially fatal Chagas disease.

While you really only have about a 1 in 400 chance of getting the disease from the bug, it's still something to note. Only 13 cases have been found in the state in Louisiana's history.

Cases were documented in the following parishes:

  • Acadia Parish
  • Ascension Parish
  • Caddo Parish
  • Iberia Parish
  • Jefferson Parish
  • Lafayette Parish
  • Point Coupee Parish
  • St. Charles Parish
  • St Landry Parish
  • St. Martin Parish
  • Terrebone Parish

The bug is known as the "kissing bug", which sounds terrifying to think that a bug could literally give you the kiss of death. However, it's warned that it's not actually the insects bite, but that when it's sucking blood from a victim, it defecates. This potentially spreads parasites through its feces. When an unsuspecting victim then rubs the itchy bite, that's usually when the spread of the disease occurs.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A BUG KNOWN FOR CARRYING THE DISEASE:

  • DO NOT TOUCH IT DIRECTLY
  • Use gloves or a plastic bag to place it in a Ziploc bag
  • Take a picture of the bug and contact LDH