Blood-sucking bugs return to Vietnam capital

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At least seven nests of the blood-sucking bugs that caused a stir in Vietnam last year have been found across Hanoi this month, Lao Dong newspaper quoted a scientist as saying Friday.

 

The nests of between 30-50 bugs each were found across several districts, including Ha Dong and Thanh Xuan, after locals informed authorities of attacks, according to Truong Xuan Lam, chief entomologist at the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources.

 

Tests showed that the the insects were the same variety of "blood-suckers" found last year, Lam said in Lao Dong.

 

But the newly found bugs seemed to be "bolder," according to Lam, who said that 60 percent of those attacked had to be hospitalized for unbearable irritation and itching, sometimes accompanied by a fever.

 

In June last year, Lam roused public interest by announcing that he had found kissing bugs (Triatoma infestans), which are specific to Latin America and transmit Chagas disease (sometimes fatal in humans), in the center of Hanoi.

 

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However, tests later found that the bugs wereTriatoma rubrofassiata, also known as "assassin bugs," which mainly caused irritation and itching.

 

Following Lam's discovery, the bug was also found in other provinces and cities, including Ho Chi Minh City.

 

About 150 families in Hanoi have been attacked by the bugs since last year, the scientist said, adding that it usually lives in unclean environments.

 

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