'Kissing Bug' in Arkansas

MAUMELLE, AR -- A bug known as the "kissing bug" carrying a deadly disease has reached The Natural State.

On Sunday, a Maumelle couple found one of these bugs just a few feet from their door.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about a life-threatening illness caused by "kissing bugs" known as Chagas, typically spotted in Texas and Virginia.

The Mauellle couple says they were sitting on their porch Saturday when they saw a large bug crawling towards the door. That's when they captured it and started looking on the internet. They say it's one of the kissing bugs.

Justin Kurtz said, "Having a two-year-old daughter and a couple of pets laying around. You know I am very concerned over their safety because if you are sleeping in the middle of the night and this thing gets in the house, it can crawl on you then it can bite you. You can contract this potential fatal disease."

The Arkansas Health Department says they are in the process of getting it listed as a reportable disease. But not all of the kissing bugs carry the disease. If you do find one in your home, contact your local health department.

According to the CDC, there's usually swelling and redness around the bite area. Also it can cause rash, swollen lymph nodes, head and body aches and vomiting. If it's not treated, the symptoms could get more severe and impact the heart and tissues of the gastrointestinal tract.

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