The Senckenberg Society has found that the Chagas bug might also survive in Southern Europe. The insect serves as an intermediate host for a dangerous parasite.
Chagas disease bug moving to Southern Europe
Chagas bugs, which can transmit a dangerous parasitic disease, are now also finding favorable living conditions in southern Europe. This is what researchers have found out from the University of Frankfurt and the Senckenberg Society.
With the help of temperature and precipitation data, they determined where else those bugs, which are actually only found in Latin America, could become native. Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy could be considered as new habitats, as well as Central Africa and South East Asia.
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Chagas bug is dangerous for humans
The blood-sucking predatory bugs, which also sting humans, serve as intermediate hosts for the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The unicellular organism is excreted with the feces of the insects. It causes Chagas disease, which can have life-threatening long-term consequences.
Parasite researcher Sven Klimpel recommends making the infection reportable and observing whether the bugs actually spread to other continents.