Has nothing to do with HIV.
Hello. I don't know if you are still reading this thread, but was wondering what the outcome was? This was awhile ago.
I was reading about Chagas myself and considering that the CDC does not even have anywhere in NY reported, I'm wondering if they have an updated map. Most of the Chagas in the USA is considered brought in by immigrants who already had it, but if that's the case, I'm surprised their map has NY State without any reports. We get more immigrants from everywhere, because of NYC, than most states.
I have also heard the tests can be conflicting and you need more than one to confirm.
I Hope you are okay.
Yes there have been cases of Chagas disease in:
Texas, California, Florida, Virginia, New York and Massachusetts and even San Diego.
It is because the Reduviid bug that carries the parasite is brought in. You could have been bitten by one because you don't know it when they bite you. But, it is unusual. I think I agree I would get retested. But it is possible not not probable.
The other way of course is transfusions, which you didn't have.
So get retested. If you are positive you need to get treatment. I think it sounds like you can have the disease and not know it to start with for a while.
Since the CDC map doesn't show NY as a place where the bug is. It doesn't rule it out 100% but the bug likes warmer temperatures. So it is hard to say. But, have you traveled to any of these places in the U.S.? Then that makes it more possible. There are a lot of immigrants in NY and perhaps you got bit by a bug. But it could be a false positive test. I doubt it though because they look for it visually not on a commercial test kit. So, was there a mix up? I never say never.
Retest and decide what to do. But make sure the doctor and the laboratory are warned to look for this disease because since it is unusual they may miss it since it isn't usually found here very frequently.
Please do let me know what happens.
When you say they look for it visually and not on a commercial test kit, what do you mean?
There are two kinds of tests that I know of. Looking for the actual Trypanosomes, or, in chronic illness, looking for antibodies via ELISA, Immunoflorescent Assay or other tests. That's because the levels of parasites are too low during chronic phase infection to be detected.
Where did you find the stats regarding New York?
Hi: The members of Triatominae /traɪ.əˈtɒmɨniː/, a subfamily of Reduviidae
Here is a link from wikipedia to explain them.
Yes I just got this question today. The moderators put it on my site. I answer them as I get them.
Usually, they look for it in a blood smear. We look for the Trapanosomes in the blood smear (thick and thin smears). Genereally immunoassays are used to distinguish between strains. But, they do have PCR now which would be better anyway. The problem in African or South America, is that in some places the cost of PCR may be too high. So we are all trained to know what these look like. PCR is not always available. But in the U.S. it is.
I understand the Wiki stuff about the bugs themselves. But that doesn't really answer my question regarding specificity of T. cruzi to Triatomines.
WHat is your background on this subject? What is your experience?
By specificity, I mean, are the Triatominae truly the only Reduviids that carry T. cruzi?
Everything I read says that PCR is there because the actual Trypanosomes will be at levels too low to detect in blood after several days, weeks or months. And also that any cases in NY known, are in people who already immigrated in.
Yes Triatomids, to my knowledge are the only ones that carry Chagas disease or T. cruzi. I am a licensed clinical microbiologist. Have you been exposed yourself or are you just curious since the person that wrote the article is someone other than yourself?
Other than I'm not entirely sure my, uh, "output" ( stool) is really reliably firm right now, nothing. Not a thing.
The bite didn't hurt a bit, and the center where the direct bite area was wasn't itchy when I woke up. About two weeks later it felt BARELY itchy at all. I read these particular triatomines - blood suckers - do not have the painful bite of many assassin bugs. Makes sense. They could not do well as nighttime sneaky blood feeders otherwise. But I also had no propensity to scratch the area either. I only noticed when I looked in the mirror.
I read they bite the face but the neck is on the way to the face. I would bet not every one of them actually gets the face, but I also realize that just reading about something doesn't mean you have it, and where I was staying makes a Triatomine bug bite unlikely.
People get bitten all the time and nothing happens.
By "reliably firm", I don't really have the runs right now. Things are probably 80-90% normal. It may be something that happened while I was dealing with allergies? Maybe even IBS ( I've been known to get it, but it usually doesn't have results like this).
I don't want to miss something, nor do I want to waste time unnecessarily at an Infectious Disease doctor's office out of some needless worry.
My background is biology, but not micro. Ecology, evolution and behavior. I enjoyed parasitology in college though.
The Triatomid bug bites you and even though it is painless at the time of the bite. In some cases severe itching and other skin problems occur afterwards.
Large populations of triatomid bugs can cause chronic anemia through loss of
blood. You also get a fever and swollen lymph nodes after. You would have symptoms if you had it. They can see it on a blood smear for blood parasites if you wanted to get it checked but I'm sure you don't have it.
I usually summarize for you what I send in a link. Yes I have had "real" life experience in the lab with stool samples (for parasitology mostly. We also worked with pinworm paddles, and received whole worms and various things even spiders and other insects which we can try to identify or send to an entomologist. But in the U.S. you don' t really see much Chagas disease. But because I worked at a county hospital we got patients that came over the boarder from Mexico, Central and South America and we took care of those patients. So I saw a couple of cases of Chagas disease over the years. But not loads of them. I worked in the laboratory non on patients directly. So we don't normally see the patient when they come in. We communicate with the doctors and they tell us their symptoms, especially when there is some odd going on in a sample. But I am also trained because of my license to know the clinical side of things regarding patient symptoms etc. Yes I do have to continually read to keep up to date as well and do continuing education. Science , as you know, is constantly changing. FYI before I got my degree/licenses I worked as a phlebotomist and worked on the trauma team and at the bedside. So, that gave me patient contact as well. Had nothing to do with this but it gave me a different view point on the other side of things. It was interesting what you see.
Sort of. I don't have a PhD and do not do my own experimentation, so I don't officially count myself as one. But my line of work and education give me access to certain kinds of info.
Now if anything I've been "backed up". Will likely just go see gastroenterologist soon if this doesn't resolve. I can't think of any insect that causes that as a primary clinical sign or symptom offhand.
The original poster hasn't checked the thread in awhile. Odds are she is okay. Usually people who have reason to be scared are the ones that keep coming back and asking questions.
Thanks for everything!
Hi, well most of the U.S. has Triatomid bugs that can bite you and transmit the parasite that causes Chagas disease. So if you traveled to other states in the U.S., especially the southern half, it is possible to get it. I would certainly get retested to rule out a lab error. If positive see an infectious disease doctor that can recommend treatment for this.