Hundreds of blood-sucking bugs have been discovered in Ho Chi Minh City, following reports of thousands found in Hanoi.
Mai Dinh Thang, a representative from the HCMC Institute of Mariology, Parasitology and Entomology's research division, said the city's biggest-ever group of bugs was discovered in an archive storage facility at Thien Phu Company in Phu Nhuan District.
The storage facility is dark and humid with ideal conditions for the bugs to live and grow, according to Thang.
Recently, several local people have reported being bitten by bugs, Thang said, adding that, so far, tests have shown that the bugs in question are the same as those found in Hanoi.
Some of the bugs have been identified as Triatoma rubrofassiata, also known as "assassin bugs," the Ministry of Health said Thursday.
They are not "kissing bugs" (Triatoma infestans) specific to Latin America that transmit Chagas disease (sometimes fatal in human) as previously thought by some scientists, according to the ministry.
In fact, tests carried out on blood samples from 19 people bitten by the bugs in Hanoi found no parasites that caused the disease.
The bugs have mainly caused irritation and itching, experts from the ministry said, advising people to keep their surroundings clean and clear, and to use pesticide spray if needed.
According to the ministry, blood-sucking bugs have lived in Vietnam for a long time, but no research has been carried out on them.
In June, Truong Xuan Lam, chief entomologist at the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, caused a stir when he announced that he had found kissing bugs in the center of Hanoi.