11 things parents need to know about kissing bugs, aka ‘love bugs’ but are NOT, both ARE cousins to BedBug and deadly Chagas Disease

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December 4, 2015 | by Dr. Peter Hotez, President of Sabin Vaccine Institute

Experts at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine have been studying Chagas disease and working on a therapeutic vaccine for it. Here are the important things to know about the kissing bug and about Chagas disease:

1.  Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a serious infection caused by a parasitic microorganism, Trypanosoma cruzi, and is transmitted by kissing bugs.

2.  Chagas disease is a leading cause of heart disease resulting in a debilitating and often fatal condition known as Chagasic cardiomyopathy. One in six people with Chagasic cardiomyopathy will die within five years.

3.  An estimated 9 million people are infected in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in impoverished areas. According to the World Health Organization, the largest number of people living with Chagas disease are in poor areas of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, while Bolivia has the highest percentage of people infected.

4.  The infection can be passed from mother to baby. There are an estimated 40,000 pregnant women in North America alone who have Chagas, and they will transmit the infection to their babies around 5 percent of the time.

5.  The CDC estimates that 300,000 cases occur in the United States, mostly imported from Latin America.

6.  Scientists at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, including Drs. Kristy Murray and Melissa Nolan Garcia, have uncovered a previously unrecognized level of transmission in the state of Texas.

7.  A high percentage of the kissing bugs in Texas are infected with the trypanosome parasite and show evidence of feeding on human blood.

8.  Dogs, cats and horses also can be infected.

9.  Researchers are finding cases among hunters and campers, as well as people who live in poverty in Texas. Those with extended outdoor exposure appear to have the greatest risk of acquiring the disease.

10.  Repeat exposures are likely necessary to acquire infection.

11.  Drug treatments are available, but they do not always work and are highly toxic. In collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, the National School of Tropical Medicine is developing a new therapeutic vaccine for Chagas disease.

About Dr. Peter Hotez, president of Sabin Vaccine Institute: The US Science Envoy, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital Chair in Tropical Pediatrics and President-Sabin Vaccine Institute.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving says ‘5 big a** bed bugs’ caused him to miss most of a game

There are a lot of layers to this. Let’s take it step by step.

What hotel was this?

The Skirvin Hilton, which you might recognize because it’s notoriously haunted by Effie, a housekeeper who supposedly jumped from one of the top floors. The New York Times wrote about it in 2014. Most NBA teams stay at this hotel when they visit Oklahoma City.

Was it actually bed bugs?

I am a young person who still has much to learn about the ways of the world, including what exactly happens when you get bed bugs, so I asked the adults of SB Nation for help here.

“They live in the bedding — like the mattress — and they come out to bite you and drink blood … but they will travel home with you in your luggage and infest your home or the next place you stay, too,” Sam Eggleston told me.

“If you get bed bugs, you have to buy new everything,” said Matt Ufford, noted bed bug expert.

Irving didn’t say anything about buying new clothes or infecting the whole team, so maybe they weren’t traditional bed bugs.

Could they have just been bugs in bed?

This is my theory, and let’s go to The Skirven’s Yelp page for evidence. First, we should note they have a four-star rating, so most people who stay there don’t have to sub out of NBA games the next day because of nausea.

Secondly, though, there’s a one-star review a little ways down the page that stands out left by a one “Matt O.” While it’s possible Matt O. is actually Kyrie Irving, I have my doubts, mostly because Kyrie’s first name is Kyrie, not Matt, and his last name doesn’t start with an O.

In his very poor review of The Skirven, Matt O., who is probably not Irving, also complains about bugs. He even leaves a picture! Here it is.

Ufford, noted bed bug expert, says that isn’t a real bed bug. Instead, it’s just a bug that was in a bed. After all, that bug is dark colored and quite large, while bed bugs are small and usually light colored. And Irving did say this about the bugs.

Twitter:  10:19 pm – 22 Feb 2016 – Jason Lloyd ‎@JasonLloydABJ  Kyrie Irving: “Just imagine how freaked out you’d be if you saw friggin 5, big ass bed bugs just sitting on your pillow. I woke up itching.”

So what’s our conclusion here?

Irving did not actually have bed bugs. Otherwise, he would have had to burn all his clothes and pretend to be Matthew Dellavedova until they ordered him a new jersey. Instead, he just had bugs in his bed, which is understandably disturbing and a very valid reason to have trouble sleeping. I sure hope I don’t have trouble sleeping tonight just because I wrote this.  [“…just bugs in his bed?” or “…just bed bugs in his bed”.  A. Steiner]

Fortunately, Irving has overcome his bed bug demons and played better on Monday, although the Cavaliers lost anyway. Here’s to an entire season where he shuts down the critics who say he will never recover from the 2016 Bed Bugs Incident.

Oh damnit. I’m itching now.

Update: The Skirven did confirm one case of reported bed bugs on Sunday, per The Oklahoman. While I still stand by my hypothesis as scientifically plausible, it seems that we might actually be dealing with a new strain of bed bugs here. Or perhaps Ufford is not the expert he led me to believe he was. Either way, I’m sure Russell Westbrook was somehow involved in this incident.

* * *

February 23, 2016 | by Tom Ziller | SB Nation

OH HEAVENS NOOOOOO: Kyrie Irving was all sick and unable to play Sunday against the Thunder because … his hotel room in Oklahoma City had bed bugs, who bit Kyrie on the face and generally terrorized him. Burn that hotel to the ground, y’all. With his luggage and clothes and everything. Fire is the only cure for the persistent itchy feeling everyone near Kyrie will feel for the next month.

BedBugs reported in some of NYC’s swankiest hotels. They were always there; and it’s getting worse. More important to follow as BedBugs transmit deadly Chagas disease.

February 8, 2016 | by Leonard Greene | New York Daily News
It’s not just the fleabags and flophouses.

Bedbugs have been reported in some of the city’s swankiest hotels with a list that includes the Waldorf Astoria the Millennium Hilton and the New York Marriott Marquis.

According to the Bedbug Registry, a nationwide database of bedbug reports and complaints, bedbug sightings in New York hotels have jumped more than 44 percent between 2014 and 2015.

The Millenium Hilton at 55 Church Street in New York New York.
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The Millenium Hilton at 55 Church Street in New York New York.

The data focused on establishments that are members of the Hotel Association of New York City.

Of the 272 association members, 65 percent, or 176 members, have had a guest file at least one complaint about bedbugs at the property.

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Taxi cabs outside Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Eighteen hotels had a combined 363 complaints, representing 42 percent of all bedbug complaints.

“I stayed in room 2306 for one night,” a Millennium Hilton guest wrote in a complaint to the hotel in 2014. “I found blood on my sheets and a live bug on my bed. I ended up with 60 plus bites.”

At the Times Square Doubletree guest said a stay there last year left hundreds of bite marks on the face, neck arms and hands.

“Extreme case of bed bug attacked on my entire upper body,” the guest wrote.” Went home to Florida a day early and ended up in my local emergency room.”

Research Entomologist Jeffrey White shows off some bedbugs at a informational bedbug conference at 201 Mulberry Street in Manhattan Wednesday.

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Last month, a California couple posted a YouTube video about their $400-a-night Central Park hotel room nightmare. The couple found dozens of bedbugs beneath their mattress at the Astor on the Park Hotel.

Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for the hotel association, said hotels in New York are addressing the issue.

“Bedbugs are a global issue that extend beyond hotels,” Linden said.

”Every member of the Hotel Association of NYC that we are aware of has an active anti-bedbug program in place. If a problem arises, it is dealt with immediately and effectively.”

Scientists who recently studied the bloodsucking creatures in the city’s subway system discovered a genetic diversity among bedbugs depending upon the neighborhood where they were found.

They said the discovery could lead to better insecticides.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Sacramento, CA Suburb Movie Theater Has BedBug Scare

January 22, 2016 | by Melinda Meza
LODA, Calif. (KCRA) —A Lodi movie theater took action when moviegoers voiced their concerns on social media about bedbugs in the theater.

Which Big Law Firm in New York Is Dealing With A Bed Bug Infestation in the WorkPlace?

January 21, 2016 | by Staci Zaretsky | AboveTheLaw.com

Working in a big law firm in any capacity is difficult enough, but when you add positively nauseating things on top of an already stressful environment, it can make the situation even worse.

Raise your hand if you’re afraid of bugs. You may claim that you’re not, but we’re not talking about any old kind of bug — we’re talking about bed bugs. Bed bugs are likely to bite you repeatedly, suck your blood, and leave you with red, itchy welts all over your body. Bed bugs are also nearly impossible to get rid of. We suspect that you’d be deathly afraid of those kind of bugs.

One law firm is currently dealing with a bed bug problem, and it’s not looking pretty. According to our tipsters, partners at the New York office of Hogan Lovells are attempting to calm the hysteria breaking out at the firm after bed bugs were discovered in several offices at the firm. Here’s an excerpt from an email about the situation sent last night to all New York employees by administrative partner Christopher Donoho:

bed bug bedbug smallYesterday, we received notice that there was a bug discovered in a paralegal office on the 24th floor. We suspected it might be a bed bug and took it seriously. Last night, we had bed bug locating dogs in the office to search every office, work station and room on the 24th floor. The dogs found some evidence of bed bug presence in the managing clerk’s office, the paralegal’s office, one attorney office and one secretarial station. There was no other evidence of bed bugs on the floor. They also searched parts of other floors and found no evidence of bed bugs there either. The exterminators will be back tonight and will be treating the entire 24th floor.

HoLove’s got no love for bed bugs. While Donoho went on to say that the presence of bed bugs was “not the fault of any employee or contractor,” you know everyone is going to be looking sideways at those who work on the 24th floor, especially the managing clerk.

As an FYI, if you see someone scratching themselves incessantly while busy billing hours at Hogan Lovells, you may know who to blame for the firm’s bed bug problem.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Williamsburg, VA…think twice before selecting hotel without Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs at the Travelodge scare this family over holiday weekend vacation.

January 21, 2016 | by Scott Wise | CBS 6

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — A mother said her children were now scared to go to sleep after the family stayed at a Williamsburg motel. During their recent stay, Elizabeth Wilcox said she discovered bed bugs in the motel room after she noticed rashes and bites on her children.

“So immediately I flip the mattress just to see all the bed bugs crawling everywhere, there’s so many of them the kids are scratching their legs,” Wilcox told WTKR. “The mattress cover had a zip on it but there were holes covering it so the bed bugs were in the box spring.”

The manager of the Travelodge, off Richmond Road in Williamsburg, said the property did not have a bed bug problem and found no issues when he inspected the room. He said he would order a pest control company to inspect the room.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

 

Research concludes: Congenital transmission of deadly Chagas disease is a risk in ANY country

January 22, 2015 | News Report-Staff News Editor | Women’s Health Weekly

New Orleans, LA – Tulane University research stated, “Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and is endemic in much of Latin America.  With increased globalization and immigration, it is a risk in any country, partly through congenital transmission.”

A quote from the research from Tulane University, “The frequency of congenital transmission is unclear.  To assess the frequency of congenital transmission of T. cruzi. PubMed, Journals@Ovid Full Text, EMBASE, CINAHL, Fuente Academica and BIREME databases were searched using seven search terms related to Chagas disease or T. cruzi and congenital transmission.  The inclusion criteria were the following:  Dutch, English, French, Portuguese or Spanish language; case report, case series or observational study; original data on congenital T. cruzi infection in humans; congenital infection rate reported or it could be derived.  This systematic review included 13 case reports/series and 51 observational studies.  Two investigators independently collected data on study characteristics, diagnosis and congenital infection rate.  The principal summary measure–the congenital transmission rate–is defined as the number of congenitally infected infants divided by the number of infants born to infected mothers.  A random effects model was used.  The pooled congenital transmission rate was 4.7% (95% confidence interval: 3.9-5.6%).  Countries where T. cruzi is endemic had a higher rate of congenital transmission compared with countries where it is not endemic (5.0% versus 2.7%).  Congenital transmission of Chagas disease is a global problem. Overall risk of congenital infection in infants born to infected mothers is about 5%.

Tulane University research concluded “The congenital mode of transmission requires targeted screening to prevent future cases of Chagas disease.”

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

The Bumbles and KiltronX…Empowering our Children to Educate & Deal with Fear of Bed Bugs through Music, Song & Dance

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Listen to hit Bedbug song by The Bumbles & The Honeybees Too below.

Florida born children’s performers The Bumbles & The Honeybees Too have teamed up with WestPoint Home and KiltronX, along with Bongiovi Productions, to deliver a socially responsible message removing the social stigma surrounding bedbugs.

Song

 

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Dr. Christy Cugini of Naples, Florida, a well-known endocrinologist, philanthropist and creator of The Bumbles and The Honey Bees Too, will be performing hit children’s bedbug song and “The Stomp” dance.

Now that bedbugs are known to transmit the deadly Chagas disease and carry 40 other pathogens, including MRSA, it is time for preparedness and action!

Click here for more information about The Bumbles & The Honeybees Too.

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#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

NYC Landlord Sues Tenant for Refusing to allow Chemicals into Apartment to treat bedbug infestation.

 The building at 2 Riverside Drive (center) had a bed bug infestation in mid-December and the landlord is suing a tenant for not complying with an extermination plan.

2 Riverside Dr. (center) ‘severe’ bedbug infestation

January 20, 2016 | by Emily Frost | DNAinfo New York

UPPER WEST SIDE — The owner of a Riverside Drive residential building is suing a renter for allegedly allowing a “severe” bedbug infestation to intensify by ignoring an exterminator’s instructions to treat the apartment after it was deemed the epicenter of the outbreak.

The landlord is suing tenant James Behan, who rents a second-floor studio apartment in 2 Riverside Drive at West 72nd Street, for more than $300,000 in damages and legal fees, according to the suit filed last week in state Supreme Court.

Behan made the infestation worse by refusing to comply with an exterminator’s demands and repeatedly re-infesting the apartment, which cost the landlord money and left the 24-unit building open to lawsuits that could be brought by other tenants, the suit said.

After hearing from several residents that there were bedbugs in their apartments, the landlord notified everyone in the building of the problem on Dec. 14, 2015, and said an exterminator would be coming two days later, the suit said.

An exterminator determined on Dec. 16 that five apartments had bedbugs and that Behan’s had the “worst infestation,” with the insects visible on the “baseboards, outlets, ceilings, and all over the furniture” of his apartment, according to the lawsuit.

Behan did not seal up infested clothing and personal items as instructed by the exterminator and was seen setting them aside in the hallway without any plastic bags to contain the critters, the suit said. He also refused to dispose of clothes and other personal property per the exterminator’s request, and did not allow the exterminator to use certain chemicals to rids his apartment of the infestation, the suit said.

Additionally, the landlord wanted the exterminator to treat Behan’s car after bugs were found there, but Behan refused to grant access to the vehicle, leading the landlord to believe the infestation spread again from his car back into the apartment, the suit noted.

The lawsuit alleges that Behan also regularly visited another location with an infestation and spread those bedbugs to his apartment. He also left his unit’s door open, the suit said.

Behan has “no valid justification” for not complying and he produced an “ongoing bedbug problem” in his apartment, as well as creating “unsafe” conditions for other tenants, who still have bedbug issues, the suit said.

In addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and legal fees, the landlord is also seeking an injunction from the court to prevent Behan from interfering with extermination.

Behan could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The attorney representing owner 2 Riverside Drive LLC did not respond to a request for comment.

#SayNOtoPesticides!

“All Walls Down” song – The Solution to tropical diseases and the bedbug problem is through Tolerance & Mindfulness of each other

Music and song lead the message and movement to help each other.  Radiate positive vibes with the smash-hit song “All Walls Down”.

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Enjoy this smash-hit song written by KiltronX and Joe Beaty [Mind Like Water] and produced and recorded by Tony Bongiovi at the famous Power Station Studio.   This song was created to bring awareness of the risk of Chagas disease through bedbugs and kissing bugs (aka “love bugs”).

Chagas disease has already affected as many as 50 million people in the world and as many as 1.5 million people in the U.S. alone.

We are all connected.  If the poor are more exposed to the deadly Chagas disease then we ALL are.  The free roaming love bugs & kissing bugs and undercover bedbugs do not discriminate – nor do they ask for a financial statement before sucking the blood of their victims.

Bedbugs can be found in all states and all cities and love bugs and kissing bugs have spread outward and up through all states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, along the Atlantic coast, the West coast and north.

Dr. Peter Hotez of the National School of Tropical Medicine says “low-income neighborhoods … are at greater risk for infection”.  Because of their predilection for the poor, Hotez calls these infections “the forgotten diseases [Chagas] of forgotten people”.

Chagas disease not only affects humans but also their pets – be it horses, dogs, cats, livestock.  Our pets are among the most innocent and have no protection.

Awareness and preparedness are crucial to saving lives.

#SayNOtoPesticides!