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NEW JERSEY (PATCH.COM) – No one needs to tell Jennifer Bankston how excruciatingly painful it is to be bitten by the “kissing bug,” a parasite found throughout the southern half of the United States that carries Chagas, a sometimes inflammatory infectious disease — and it can potentially be fatal.

The mostly nocturnal parasite Trypanosoma cruzi has been found in 28 U.S. states. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention says the bug could potentially be in New Jersey since it’s in neighboring states.