Now Fruit Juice Is Linked to a Higher Cancer Risk

Drinking soda doesn’t just threaten to make us fat, it could be linked to a higher risk of cancer, judging from a new study. But here’s the more surprising part: so could fruit juices.

Increased daily consumption of about 3.4 ounces of soda — roughly a third of a can of Coke — was associated with an 18% greater risk of some cancers in a study published in the British Medical Journal. The likelihood of breast tumors alone rose even more, by 22%. When people drank the same amount of unsweetened fruit juice, they were also more likely to develop cancer, the researchers found.

The research, part of a broader effort carried out in France to investigate links between nutrition and health, is one of the first to find a connection between sweet drinks and cancer. The findings may also taint the image of fruit juices, which are often perceived — and promoted — as healthy.

“All beverages — either with sugar or without — are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement. Beverage companies are working to provide more choices with reduced or no sugar, smaller package sizes and clear calorie information, according to the industry group.

The researchers tracked 97 beverages and 12 artificially sweetened ones, including carbonated ones, sports drinks, syrups and pure fruit juices. The correlations they found don’t necessarily mean the beverages alone lead to cancer. The study didn’t seek to understand the reason for the link, though the researchers speculated that sugar’s effect on visceral fat, blood-sugar levels and inflammation may play a role. Additives found in sodas and pesticides in fruit could also have an impact, they wrote.

“These data support the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks,” the authors wrote in conclusion.

Taxing on sweet products and labeling the front of packages can help reduce sugar consumption, especially if pure fruit juice is included in the measures, according to a study from the University of Waterloo published in May.

The French study found no increased cancer risk from sugar-free drinks, although so few of the people studied consumed them that the results may not be significant, the researchers said. Water, unsweetened tea and coffee also showed no heightened risk.

The research is part of France’s NutriNet-Sante, a web-based study following about 100,000 volunteers since 2009.

One-third of children in Zika virus study show developmental problems

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“Children who were exposed to Zika during their mothers’ pregnancy need to have developmental assessments over time, and eye and hearing exams should be performed,” said lead study author Dr. Karin Nielsen-Saines.

July 10, 2019 | HealthDay New

Researchers say that children exposed to Zika virus in the womb should be screened for effects of the virus. File Photo by mycteria/Shutterstock

New research shows that neurological damage for babies who were exposed to the Zika virus while in the womb continues to unfold years after birth.

Developmental problems were found in one-third of the 216 children studied, some of whom were 3 years old. The problems affected language, thinking and motor skills development. Some also had eye and hearing issues.

Surprisingly, the researchers also discovered that fewer than 4 percent of the children had microcephaly — a smaller-than-normal head that is one of the hallmarks of Zika exposure in the womb. And in two of those cases, the head actually grew to normal size over time.

“Children who were exposed to Zika during their mothers’ pregnancy need to have developmental assessments over time, and eye and hearing exams should be performed,” said lead study author Dr. Karin Nielsen-Saines. She is a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“If there is risk of developmental delay, or developmental delay is identified, there are cognitive, language and behavior interventions that can be put in place to improve outcomes for these children,” she added in a university news release.

The finding that some children born with microcephaly went on to develop normal head circumference by age 1 means that “microcephaly is not necessarily static,” Nielsen-Saines said.

The study was published July 8 in the journal Nature Medicine.

The researchers noted that they didn’t have a comparison group of non-exposed children who were born at the same time and raised in the same settings as those known to have been exposed to Zika in the womb.

“Zika exposure can be a very difficult condition to diagnose in retrospect, so we can’t rule out undiagnosed Zika infection in a control group of children enrolled at the same time,” Nielsen-Saines said.

“Neurodevelopmental tests should be done simultaneously in similar populations with the same background,” she suggested.

“These children require close attention and ongoing surveillance, so that prompt interventions to improve their development can be provided if needed,” Nielsen-Saines said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on Zika.

Brandon man discusses life after having West Nile virus

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) – Nearly three years ago, Chris Kielman was doing what every South Dakota does in the summer, enjoying the outdoors.

Mosquito feeding on a human host, Photo Date: January 23, 2016 / Cropped Photo: Day Donaldson / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)

“I specifically remember one night, when I think back to it very, very buggy. I got bit a bunch of times by mosquitoes,” Kielman said.

After that evening everything changed for him after a misdiagnosis of Swine Flu. Nearly five days after developing flu-like symptoms, Kielman was unable to move. He attempted to get out of bed one morning and collapsed.

Kielman was rushed to the ER and received the diagnosis of West Nile Neuroinvasive disease, which infects the brain and spinal cord area.

“I ended up five days in the hospital tremendous pain, headaches,” he said. “Lost my hearing in my left ear completely was told it may not come back. Fortunately, after about two months it did. And that all is neurologic and that’s the scary thing is that this isn’t physical, this is a neurologic thing that affects you, and you have no control. You’re basically along for the ride.”

Now, years later, Kielman still feels the effects of the virus. He says he is not quite at 100% and even gets tired relatively easy at times.

This year there is some good news, so far this summer we’ve seen lower temperatures which could help decrease the number of West Nile cases.

“We do have a prediction model that we run based off of temperature that’s predicted for the rest of the summer,” Dr. Joshua Clayton, South Dakota state epidemiologist, said. “And so, that predicted number puts us at 62 potential West Nile cases for the coming year.”

But, that doesn’t mean to put the bug spray down, make sure always to protect yourself if you head outdoors.

People who are at high risk for developing the virus are those who are individuals over 50, pregnant women, organ transplant patients, individuals with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians.

If you do develop flu-like symptoms after getting bit, be sure to visit with your doctor.

One-third of toddlers exposed to Zika in the womb suffer developmental problems, study says

A new study of toddlers exposed to the Zika virus during their mothers’ pregnancies found that nearly a third suffered developmental delays and other problems — even if they were born without the abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains often associated with the virus.

The study of more than 200 babies, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, also shows that a very small number of children born with the congenital condition known as microcephaly had their symptoms improve. Conversely, a very small number of the children born without symptoms of microcephaly went on to develop it.

The research further noted a higher rate of autism among children exposed to the virus than among those in the general population.

Infectious disease expert Albert Ko, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Yale School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study, said that during the 2015-2016 Zika epidemic, public health professionals were focused on the most severe birth defects, such as microcephaly, but “we always suspected that was the tip of the iceberg.”

The study, Ko said, shows “there are more subtle, but very significant, defects associated with Zika infection, such as below-average neurodevelopmental performance.” These deficits can affect language, learning and social interactions, among other things, he said.

During the outbreak in Brazil, which spread through North and South America, Zika spurred widespread concern that babies exposed to the virus in utero would be born with devastating and long-lasting birth defects. Indeed, Ko said, research has shown that about 4 to 6 percent of those studied developed microcephaly, many with abnormally small heads and skulls, eye problems, hearing problems, issues with joints and muscles, and severe developmental issues.

But experts say the new research shows the issue may be more complex. Because a large number of children without microcephaly are nevertheless still suffering neurosensory and developmental problems, children who were exposed to the virus before birth should be monitored throughout their formative years for potential problems in school and in life.

You can’t just look at them when they’re born and say they don’t have microcephaly and they look normal and they’re fine, because there are repercussions for the developing brain,” said lead author Karin Nielsen-Saines, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of California at Los Angeles.

She noted these children should be watched for developmental problems because “if you see that these children are at risk for bad neurodevelopmental outcomes, you can implement measures” to help them.

“That, I think, is the major message,” Nielsen-Saines said, “that you should follow these children and that this may allow for interventions that can give them a better future.”

Researchers from UCLA, with help from those in Brazil, Austria and Germany, monitored the children up to age 3 to determine how the virus would affect their development.

The researchers found that eight of those children had microcephaly — four developed it at birth and remained affected by it, two were born without it but fit the diagnostic criteria within the first year, and two were born with it but grew out of it, according to the study.

Nielsen-Saines said one of the children who overcame the disorder also had a birth defect in which the bones in the skull fuse too early, affecting both appearance and brain development.

Before surgery to repair the baby boy’s skull at about 6 months of age, he had several Zika-related symptoms — an issue with the retina, calcifications in the brain and significant developmental deficits, Nielsen-Saines said. After surgery, the child began to improve, though she noted that his developmental scores remained below average.

The other child who improved, Nielsen-Saines said, was born with a moderate case of microcephaly and experienced developmental delays early on. But by the time he was about a year old, Nielsen-Saines said, the microcephaly had resolved — his head shape and size were within the normal range and he had no developmental issues.

Nielsen-Saines noted that the child who improved spontaneously was not as severely affected as the other child and did not have eye or hearing problems. Nielsen-Saines also said that his parents used developmental stimulation early on to try to help him.

Nielsen-Saines said the researchers never expected to see a reversal of microcephaly in the study, but it did “not come as a complete surprise” because children with other developmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy, can improve with stimulation. This type of stimulation uses intensive playing, learning and interacting with others, for example, to help develop babies’ brains.

Nielsen-Saines, who has been studying Zika and its effects on children since the epidemic, said that three other children who were exposed to the virus were diagnosed with autism at age 2. She said the children were developing normally but stopped talking and started showing other symptoms of the disorder at that age. Since the study, she said, two more have been diagnosed.

Ko, an epidemiologist, said that given the small number of children who went on to develop microcephaly as well as the small number who recovered from it, it would be difficult to estimate how often these situations occur. He also said that although the number of children who developed autism is “quite concerning,” there’s no way to determine the extent of the risk at this point.

Still, Ko agreed with the study’s authors that these children should be monitored for potential problems, especially as they are entering school.

“As we are following these babies longer, we’re learning more and more about the potential harms that were caused during gestation,” Ko said.

Zagreb is a Pesticide Free City: Will Varazdin Be Next?

Croatia.pngJuly 8, 2019 | by Paul Bradbury

Zagreb joined the European Pesticide Free Town network last year. Will Varazdin be next?

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One of the things I have appreciated most about moving from the island of Hvar to Varazdin in northern Croatia has been the diversity of people I come into contact with. I love Hvar (and am currently enjoying that endless sunshine) but with an economy so focused on tourism, it is not exactly representative of daily life in the rest of Croatia. And as TCN moves away from a main focus on tourism to other aspects of life, it has been fascinating to learn of various initiatives around the country, and to meet people whose passions are far away from tourism.

I have a friend who lives in Varazdin and commutes to Zagreb each day, and we have a nice chat as we drive in together on the days when I have business in Zagreb. He has introduced me to various people and ideas, including Natlija Svrtan of Earth Trek (Zemljane Staze in Croatian), an environmental group which is working on – among other things – getting rid of the use of pesticides in public places in the towns and cities of Croatia. I asked Natlija to write a piece for TCN on the subject. Here it is. Will Varazdin and other Croatian towns and cities follow Zagreb’s lead?

Pesticide Free Zagreb – safe for citizens, excellent for biodiversity

Zagreb is Pesticide Free Town – will other towns in Croatia follow the example?

Since February 2018, Zagreb has been a Pesticide Free Town – which means that Zagreb does not use pesticides in public places.

The Mayor of Zagreb, Mr. Milan Bandić has recognized this initiative as a valuable contribution to improving the living conditions of citizens of Zagreb. Therefore, Mr. Bandić signed the Pledge with which he commits to phase out pesticides in public places.  With this step, the citizens of Zagreb can enjoy lying on the grass without worrying if they are inhaling dangerous toxins, and their pets can run around without having allergies and acute poisoning from chewing the grass.

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By signing this Pledge, Zagreb has become a member of European Pesticide Free Towns Network, a network of European towns who replaced pesticides with sustainable, non-hazardous alternatives. This Network is established by PAN Europe, together with its member organizations. Pesticide-free towns have teamed up within this Network with the aim of creating a platform for linking and sharing experiences, and effectively supporting cities in transition.

The use of pesticides in public places is considered to be unnecessary. While gardeners in Pesticide Free Towns use mechanical technics such as hand weeding, or machine treatment with hot water or steam, biologists and city leaders are trying to promote the “return of Nature back to the towns”, by convincing people that, for example, plants on the pavements are not “an ugly scene”, and that native wildflowers are as beautiful as those cultivated. With accepting native plants, and by accepting so-called weeds on lawns, we are contributing to biodiversity and to the return of pollinators, besides sparing the animals of direct poisoning.

Pesticides have multiple negative effects:

  • Pesticides have a direct impact on human health, and although the effects of pesticide use do not show directly and at the moment of consumption, pesticides certainly have a significant impact on human health. They are carcinogenic, cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, affect reproductive health – conceiving problems, cause abdominal pain, obesity, diabetes, allergies, neurological problems, agitation, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and many other diseases and disorders.
  • The application of pesticides is never limited to the area for which the pesticide application is intended, but the effects of pesticides are spread far beyond the scope of application. Pesticides spread with air and water after being washed out by irrigation or after rain. Unfortunately, in almost all tested water samples (in Western European countries) residues of pesticides were found.
  • Pesticide cause direct harm to animals and insects that inhale or digest pesticides, or eat animals and bugs that are intoxicated by pesticides; this causes the imbalance in nature by killing bugs which are, or predators, or the food for other animals; direct harm applies especially to amphibians and fish which have permeable skin and therefore absorb toxins with their whole body surface. By choosing alternatives to pesticides, the impact on soil, air and water pollution, especially the groundwater that is a source of potable water is eliminated. Animals and plants are not affected by these toxins, and the biodiversity is improved.

In 2018. the Earth Trek association conducted a campaign urging all the cities in the Republic of Croatia to follow the examples of cities in Western Europe countries. Zagreb and Ozalj are those who committed to phasing out pesticides.

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In the Town of Varaždin the use of pesticides is not banned.

Varaždin has beautiful parks and green areas which are probably treated with pesticides. An especially endangered group are children – who run around grass, roll on it and expose themselves directly to pesticides.

Since the use of pesticides is not limited only to the application spot (which was proven by taking the soil samples of children’s playgrounds), children are exposed to dangerous toxins, even if those were not applied in kindergartens, or on the playgrounds. Especially worrying is the fact that most of these toxins are endocrine disruptors and have long-term effects on health.

The town of Varaždin hasn’t responded to our request to sign the Pledge.

We haven’t received the explanation on cancelled meeting in September last year, accusations of writing inaccurate allegations on our web page, nor the promised notification after planning to ask the Town’s Utility Company for an explanation of pictures we took in May 2018.

Earth Trek wishes the best for the citizens of Varaždin. Besides the elimination of toxic substances from public areas, air, soil and ground water, the transition to a pesticide free concept would open new job positions, and would also promote the Town of Varaždin trough Pesticide Free Towns marketing tools.

We believe the health of the citizens should be everyone’s first concern, and even though it seems that the use of pesticides is the cheapest way of green areas maintenance, the externalities show that the costs of the treatment of the illness caused by the use of pesticide cost the society and the government even more.

It takes time for the pesticides to decompose, particularly for those persistent, and it takes time for nature the re-establish its balance – that’s why we need to act immediately and start applying sustainable systems, in order to leave a healthy world to our children.

Man sues Casper Marriott, alleging he developed serious infection from bedbug bites

Doctors confirmed that he had MRSA, a form of a staph infection that is dangerous because it is resistant to some antibiotics, as well as other issues related to the alleged bites.

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by Seth Klamann | July 8, 2019

A Georgia man has filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of the Courtyard Marriott hotel in east Casper, alleging that he was bitten by bedbugs during a stay there in 2012 and later developed a serious infection to his legs.

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In this Wednesday, March 30, 2011 file photo, a bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington.  

The suit was filed in federal court last month by Frank Pascarelli, who works for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he “is acutely aware of diseases and infections,” according to the lawsuit. He filed the suit against Marriott, various South Dakota-based management companies that are linked to the Casper location, and James Koehler, who works for the management companies that bear his last name.

A Marriott spokeswoman directed comment to Koehler and the South Dakota companies. A message left for Koehler’s assistant was not returned Monday. An email to his company, the Koehler Organization, bounced back as undeliverable, and a third message sent via a form on the business’s website was not returned.

In the lawsuit, Pascarelli alleges that he was staying at the Courtyard Marriott in April 2012 when he woke up to discover “an enormous amount of painful, itchy, burning bites” on his buttocks and right leg. He had taken a shower the night before and had not noticed any such marks, the suit alleges.

Pascarelli eventually sought treatment at an urgent care clinic in Cheyenne, where he was working with a U.S. marshal. According to the lawsuit, he had “approximately 20” “nodules” on his upper legs and buttocks.

He went back to the clinic the next day because the marks were developing into pustules, indicating infection. The bites then grew into lesions, according to the lawsuit, and caused even more pain, while Pascarelli developed a fever.

Back in Atlanta, where the CDC is based, he was admitted to the hospital. Doctors confirmed that he had MRSA, a form of a staph infection that is dangerous because it is resistant to some antibiotics, as well as other issues related to the alleged bites.

The doctor said that the MRSA was “the result of the bed bug attack at (the) hotel during the early morning of April 9, 2012,” the suit alleges.

Pascarelli was a frequent patient of the hospital throughout April and underwent three surgeries to treat the infections. He incurred about $100,000 in debt, the suit alleges. He lost wages from his job at the CDC, the complaint continues, and is at risk of being forced to retire from the Air Force Reserve.

According to the lawsuit, he will need treatment for the MRSA for the rest of his life.

The suit does not list a specific dollar amount that it seeks, though it alleges Pascarelli could lose up to $500,000 in wages as a result of the infections.

“Defendants knew, and/or should have known, that the bed in (Pascarelli’s) hotel room at the (hotel) was infected with bed bugs,” the suit alleges, adding that the hotel and its owners “failed to take reasonable precautions, failed to implement reasonable safety inspections and/or failed to follow their own safety inspections to ensure that the (hotel) was free from insects and pests,” among other allege failures.

In a statement to the Star-Tribune, Pascarelli’s attorney, Jason Ochs, said that “bed buds have been known to be a major health issue in the hospitality industry for over a decade” and that the industry “has a duty to preemptively act in regards to this foreseeable problem in order to protect paying guests.”

Best way to search a hotel room for bed bugs

By Greg Keraghosian | Yahoo Travel | March 26, 2016

Bedbugs aren’t a big concern when you travel … unless you get them. Then they’re a blood-sucking nightmare, and they won’t just ruin your trip — they can ruin your life for months afterward if they hitch a ride home with you.

Don’t think you’ll find them only in a two-bit motel — there are well-documented cases of tourists having their upscale hotel getaways ruined by massive bedbug bites. And it’s no use traveling to a region that’s bedbug-free: The data says they can be found all over the U.S.

What’s the best way to weed out these tiny critters?  We love this video demonstration from the University of Maine, in which Jim Dill, an expert with a sweet New England accent, shows us how to look for bedbugs upon first checking into a hotel.

We combine his tips along with some other expert advice into a step-by-step guide for avoiding a bedbug-infested holiday:

Put your bags in the tub, away from the luggage rack

This should be the first thing you do after checking in, and it’s often not mentioned. While a luggage rack may be away from the bed and elevated, bedbugs could easily be hiding out within the fabric of the straps. To be extra safe, put your bags in the bathroom tub, which bedbugs are unlikely to climb into.

Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, also says you could leave your bags at the door when you first check in: “Just don’t unpack anything until you’ve checked for bedbugs,” she told Yahoo Travel.

Start your inspection by checking the headboard

Bedbugs don’t stray far from the bed — as Dill says, their range is about 20 feet away from their host — but they’re sneaky and can play hide-and-seek better than any 5-year-old.

Take a flashlight (if you have a smartphone, it probably has one) and get a good look at the headboard, which is a common hiding spot, and don’t forget to look in the creases.

“Many people overlook the headboard because it can be difficult to remove from the wall to examine it,” Louis N. Sorkin, BCE, a consulting entomologist with Entsult Associates, told Yahoo Travel.

And just to digress for a minute, Sorkin should know bedbugs well — he stores thousands of them at home for study and keeps them alive by letting them feed on him, since he doesn’t react adversely to bites. Chuck Norris has nothing on Louis N. Sorkin.

As for what bed bugs can look like, their size and color can depend on whether they’re an adult or immature, or whether they’ve recently fed. The common rule of thumb is that they’re the size and shape of an appleseed, but Sorkin has posted examples of how that’s not necessarily so. They can be flat or plump in shape, and pale or reddish-brown in color.

Check the piping of the mattress

The crevices of a mattress’s piping make for a great bedbug hideout, so take off the sheets and look closely at the top and bottom parts.

Check the mattress or mattress pad for blood spots or poop

We know, this isn’t the most romantic way to begin a hotel stay, but other than seeing the bugs themselves, this is the best giveaway of whether any bedbugs have been feeding recently. The bloodstains can be red or brown, and the bedbugs’ poop can look like magic marker dots or marks, or raised mounds, Sorkin said. The poop residue will be light-to-dark brown or black.

Check the nearby drawers and nightstand

These make for another nice, dark hiding spot for bedbugs. Don’t just look on the corners of the inside — to be really thorough, take the drawers out from the nightstand and look under them too.

Check all other prime hiding spots

This could include the aforementioned luggage rack, bed frame, picture frames, and anything else within a few feet of the bed.

What if, gasp, you find bedbugs when you check in?

I’ll share a semi-embarrassing story: Last year I stayed at a boutique hotel in British Columbia, and minutes after checking in I saw some apple-seed-size, orange-brown bugs on the window and the windowsill.

So I did what any sane person would do: I freaked out, zipped up the bags I had placed on the floor, and ran down to the front desk. To the hotel’s credit, the guy working there immediately came up to my room to check on the problem. Which, it turns out, was no problem — they were just a species of ladybug I’d never seen (Canadians!). But he examined the mattress and the room just to be sure.

Provided what you found are in fact bedbugs, notify the front desk immediately. It’s probably OK to ask for another room in the hotel, but make sure it’s not next door or right above or below (and check that room thoroughly too).

What if, double gasp, you wake up the next morning with bedbugs?

This is the scarier scenario, because you don’t know where the bugs might be in your stuff, and you must make sure they don’t leave with you. Since the hotel is going to owe you one, insist that it launder your clothes immediately. And washing them isn’t enough: Mannes of the NPMA advises putting all fabric in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes and steaming your luggage.

To be extra safe, before returning home place all your garments in a vacuum-sealed bag and dry them again.

If you’re wondering what bedbug bites look like, Sorkin keeps an extensive (and gross) collection of photos that include the bugs, their eggs, and their bite marks. The bites aren’t dangerous for most people — just unsightly and uncomfortable. Some people have harsh skin reactions that will require a doctor visit.

Bonus question: Could bedbugs hide on your pets?

Both Mannes and Sorkin said this is an unlikely scenario, but Sorkin added that it’s not impossible.

“There are exceptions where infestations have been allowed to proliferate due to many reasons,” he said. “Hotel staff haven’t been given proper education. I’ve seen infestations in homes where people and pet dogs and cats both had been fed upon over many months or longer.”

So just to be safe, give Checkers a good look before you check out.

Bonus question No. 2: How can I research if a hotel has bedbugs?

There are some websites where anonymous guests can report bedbug infestations at certain hotels, such as BedBugs.net and the Bedbug Registry. But there’s no way to be sure if the reports are accurate, and ultimately no hotel is 100 percent safe from bedbugs because of how easily they stow away with guests. Your best bet is to examine the room yourself.

‘Kissing bug’ case in Delaware raises alarm for summer

(CNN) April 25, 2019 | Jacqueline Howard and Nadia Kounang

A bloodsucking “kissing bug” bit a Delaware girl on the face last summer while she was watching television. Now, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the incident the first confirmed identification of the bug in the state.

Triatoma sanguisuga, often called the “kissing bug” because it usually bites around the eyes and mouth, can transmit a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite causes Chagas disease, which can have serious cardiac and gastrointestinal complications.
When the girl was bitten, her family contacted the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware Department of Agriculture for help in identifying the creature. They were concerned about possible disease transmission from the insect, according to a CDC report Thursday.
“The girl who was bitten had no ill effects,” the report said, and although the bug’s presence was confirmed in Delaware at the time, there is no current evidence of Trypanosoma cruzi in the state.
Yet the case raises new concern about how many additional kissing bug bites might occur this summer across the nation — and what that means for public health.
Although the risk of Trypanosoma cruzi transmitted by kissing bugs is minimal, most of the kissing bugs in the United States are potential disease vectors, and parasite transmission could increase because of climate change, according to a paper in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2012.
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Chagas is endemic to Latin America, where a different species of the bug lives and can find its way into rural households.

“They might have thatched roof or poorly insulated walls, and the bugs set up shop and feed on animals and people at home,” Sarah Hamer, now an associate professor of epidemiology at Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical School, said in 2015.
Yet the bugs exist here in the United States, too.
Hamer said the kissing bug and Chagas have long been our neighbors: “The earliest reports are from the 1800s. The first parasites have been reported since the 1940s. We’re just diagnosing more disease. We’re paying attention to it now.”

 
The CDC estimates that there are 300,000 people living with Chagas in the United States, but most cases are contracted in other countries.

Only a few cases of Chagas disease from contact with the bugs have been documented in this country, and kissing bugs have been reported in 28 states, mostly in the southern half of the nation, according to the CDC. The bugs in the United States are most likely to be found outside.
To prevent infestation, the CDC recommends that you:
  • Seal cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs and doors
  • Remove wood, brush and rock piles near your house
  • Use screens on doors and windows and repair any holes or tears
  • Seal holes and cracks leading to the attic, to crawl spaces below the house and to the outside
  • Have pets sleep indoors, especially at night
  • Keep your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs
If you suspect that you’ve found a kissing bug, the CDC says not to squash it. Instead, place it in a container and fill with rubbing alcohol or freeze in water, and take it to your local health department.

Rankings of worst cities for bedbugs have bad news for Mid-Atlantic

Delaware News Journal | Andrew Sharp | June 4, 2019

Great news: No Delaware cities made the list of worst cities in the country for bedbugs.

The bad news: We’re surrounded.

The pest control company Terminix just released its list of the 50 worst cities in the country for bedbugs, based on the calls for service. Philadelphia was No. 1, New York was No. 2, Washington, D.C., was No. 8 and Baltimore was No. 13.

Calls to a pest control company aren’t the same as a scientific survey, so make of that what you will. Another company, Orkin, released its top 50 for 2018 in January, based on older data. It didn’t offer much peace of mind to those in the Mid-Atlantic, ranking Baltimore No. 1, D.C. 2, New York 8, and Philadelphia 12.

So while it’s hard to know for sure where bedbugs are the worst, we do know that the phones are busy in this region with reports of the little pests.

It’s only a problem if you object to creatures crawling over your bed at night while you sleep, sucking your blood.

For those paranoid about such things, Terminix offers some paranoid-sounding advice: To avoid bedbugs when traveling, “always check hotel mattresses, headboards, frames and pictures for signs of bed bugs in the room. Travelers should also wash clothes in warm water and dry in a heat chamber immediately after returning home from travel.” The company also warned that the bugs can be transported in jackets, purses, and luggage, and hide in furniture and behind baseboards.

You can almost feel those little feet crawling on you.

 

BITEMARE: East Texas Mother claims hotel was infested with Bed Bugs

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GRAND SALINE, TX | July 1, 2019 | by Mye Owens

You know the saying, “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Well, it’s not just a nursery rhyme. Experts say bed bugs are common during this time of year and can ruin a good nights sleep.

If you’re planning a family getaway for the summer, it’s important to be aware of unwanted guests that may be waiting for you when resting away from home. Just ask Tiffany Thompson.

“The first night he had bites just up here, and I thought it was just mosquito bites,” explains Thompson, as she points out red marks on her son.

Thompson and her 1 year old son Aiden were spending the night at a hotel in Grand Saline, when the unthinkable happened.

“Just the second night, he woke up. Covered, his face, his arms,” continues Thompson.

Trying to find the cause of these bites, she pulled back the sheets, and couldn’t believe what she saw.

“I didn’t know at first, but I checked the bed, I checked around it. There were bed bugs everywhere. I didn’t even think that there would be bed bugs like that.” describes Thompson.

When she took her son to the hospital, she says doctors couldn’t count the number of bites on his body.

Bed Bug bites are more common then not.

Research shows 1 out of 5 Americans have either been bitten by a bed bug, or knows someone who has.

Experts say a good way to check if bed bugs are in your home is to flip over the covers, and check in between the mattress seams, because that’s where the insects love to hide.

“Usually it’s red, itchy, and kind of almost either in a linear pattern where they’re crawling up your skin, or a zigzag pattern where they’re going back and forth,” explains Dr. Matt Young, who often treat bed bug bites.

Doctors say the best way to treat a bite is to not scratch, and be aware if you start having more symptoms.

“If you’re having an allergic reaction, they start getting welts, and start getting itchy and then you may have shortness of breath that’s a 911 emergency,” says Dr. Young.

Because a trip to the hospital like Aiden had, could be just one bite away.

How to prevent Bed Bugs:

*Below are tips provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Check all second hand furniture for any signs of insects before bringing it home
  • Use a protective cover over your mattress and box springs
  • Reducing clutter in your home, reduces the number of places the bugs can hide
  • Vacuum on a regular basis
  • Be vigilant if you are sharing laundry facilities