Their name may sound sweet, but Kissing Bugs, properly known as triatomine bugs, are known to cause Chagas disease, particularly in Latin American countries.
The infected bugs, which contract the disease from an infected person or animal, hide in the walls and roofs of homes made out of adobe, mud straw and palm thatch.
The CDC estimates that as many as 8 million people in Mexico, Central America and South America have Changas disease but do not realize it. This is because in most cases, symptoms are absent or mild and include headache, fever, and muscle pain among others. In extreme cases, Changas can lead to sudden death or heart failure.
What can you do? According to the CDC if you will be traveling in any of the regions mentioned, as long as you are sleeping in a well-constructed facility you are at low risk for exposure to kissing bugs.