When a California mother was enjoying a nice, relaxing stay outdoors with her family, she never could have anticipated the devastation that would secretly happen to her.
Lynn Kaufer Hodson was camping in Grass Valley, California with her loved ones. She happened to feel a large, itchy bump on her neck and assumed she had been bitten by a mosquito, spider, or some other insect during the day.
Thinking nothing of it, she forgot about it. A few weeks passed, and she realized the bump had yet to go away. This made her a bit more concerned because seemingly harmless bug bites never take quite that long to heal.
It continued to itch and stay inflamed, but she hoped that it would get better on its own. Little did she know that she had been bitten by what has been deemed the “silent killer.”
She volunteered to give blood, as she regularly did. In weeks following, she received an official letter from the Red Cross that accidentally confirmed her diagnosis.
She had been infected by a rare parasite from a Kissing Bug called Trypanosoma cruzi, which triggers the deadly Chagas disease.
According to sources: “Hodson said the disease is called the ‘silent killer’ because many people don’t show any symptoms.”
“Kissing bugs spread the infection by biting a human, typically on their face (hence the nickname), and then defecating near the wound. The parasite can then get rubbed into the open wound or get into the body if someone touches their mouth or eyes afterward.”
This is certainly not an illness that should be taken lightly. “Chagas disease can cause life-threatening heart issues, including heart disease, strokes, arrhythmias, and cardiac arrest. About one-third of those infected will develop chronic heart disease.”
Since receiving this frightening news, she has made it her mission to spread awareness about this fearful disease in hopes that others will be aware of the signs and symptoms.