Assassin bug of South and Central America

Assassin bug of South and Central America

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Caption: Rhodnius prolixus, the assassin bug (reduviid bug) of South and Central America, seen here on the hand of a human. The assassin bug is the vector of a protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi which causes Chagas disease. The protozoa is present in the faeces of the bug and is transmitted to humans when they come into contact with wounds on the skin. It may also enter via the nose and mouth. The parasite lodges in the heart muscles and central nervous system causing serious inflammation and lesions. These may prove fatal. The disease is prevalent among children and young adults.

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Keywords: animal, assasin, bug, chagas disease, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, rhodnius prolixus, wildlife, zoology

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