These dangerous critters have been popping up in half of the United States and are now in Illinois.

Call me paranoid if you must, but this may be my biggest fear actually coming to life.

CDC.gov

My biggest fear is that when I am sleeping a bug will crawl on my face or in my mouth. That is exactly what the deadly 'kissing bug' does. Yup, I'm freaked out.

Reports from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention are popping up across the United States with confirmed cases that people have seen the Triatomine Bug, or the 'kissing bug.'

This 'kissing bug' is also known as the 'silent killer' because of what it does to you in your sleep.

The 'kissing bug' is nocturnal and usually will bite you around the face or lips when you are sleeping. After all, that is why it is called the 'kissing bug.'

According to KWQC, the 'kissing bug' excretes a parasite that carries Chagas, a disease that can be deadly if left untreated, after the bug bites.

If you are bit by a 'kissing bug' you may experience an allergic reaction at the site of the bite. An allergic reaction may be characterized by severe redness, itching, swelling, welts, hives, or, rarely, anaphylactic shock. If Chagas disease is contracted from the feces, the flu-like symptoms may leave you experiencing fever, body aches and swelling on the bite spot. If you scratch the bite, you can spread the disease to other parts of your body.

Chagas can not be transmitted from human to human, yet there are a variety of ways that transmission could occur.

If you eat fruit or any uncooked food that the bug has excreted on, it can transmit Chagas. Pregnant women can transmit the disease to their baby. Chagas can also be transmitted through blood transfusions and organ transplants.

 

To protect yourself against the 'kissing bug' the CDC recommends washing your hands and being mindful of your surroundings.

If you believe you have found a 'kissing bug' be sure to not touch it. Place a container on top of the bug, slide the bug inside, and fill it with rubbing alcohol or, if not available, freeze the bug in the container. Then, you may take it to your local extension service, health department, or a university laboratory for species identification.