STILLWATER, Oklahoma - A bug that potentially carries a dangerous disease is becoming more common in the United States.

Researchers at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater are working to find answers and educate others on the dangers of kissing bugs.

While it may be a cute nickname, these bugs carry a potentially dangerous disease that has already infected about 300,000 people in the United States. 

Kissing bugs are blood suckers and are known to transmit the deadly parasite Trypanosoma cruzi which can cause Chagas disease in both people and dogs.  The bugs often bite while the host is sleeping. 

A parasitologist and researcher at Oklahoma State University is working to learn more about the Chagas disease. 

Dr. Kelly Allen says the disease may go unnoticed for years but can cause cardiac and gastrointestinal tissue damage later and may even be fatal for some patients. 

Dr. Allen encourages anyone who finds a kissing bug to have it tested for Chagas parasite DNA.  You can mail it to Dr. Allen for testing

Mail the suspected kissing bug and the completed submission form below to: Attn: Dr. Kelly Allen, Oklahoma State University, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, 225 McElroy Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078. 


Dr. Kelly Allen's email address is kissingbugandtell@gmail.com