Completing this checklist will help you determine if you may have Babesiosis: (1) Do you live or spend time in an area where there are deer ticks? (2) Have you been bit by any ticks? (3) Do you have flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, weakness, and nausea or vomiting? (4) Are your red blood cells breaking down faster than normal? If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, it’s important to see your doctor to find out if you have Babesiosis.
What is babesiosis?
Like Lyme disease, babesiosis is caused by a bacterium. It’s actually a parasite spread by ticks, but some people call it a bacteria because they don’t know any better. Babesia microti parasites enter your bloodstream when you’re bitten by an infected deer tick.
Without proper babesiosis treatment, symptoms can get worse quickly and lead to death. The good news is that it’s relatively rare: It affects about 1 in 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly in northern states with high deer populations like Wisconsin and Maine.
What is Babesiosis caused?
Babesiosis is caused by tiny parasites called Babesia. The kind that most often affects humans is called Babesia microtia. They enter your bloodstream when you’re bitten by an infected deer tick. Most people with babesiosis feel sick for a few days, but then get better on their own.
But some people develop severe or life-threatening complications of babesiosis and need treatment with medicine for babesiosis (antibiotics). If you develop serious symptoms of babesis such as severe headache, fatigue, confusion, or other unusual problems contact your doctor right away!
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Babesiosis?
The most common symptom of babesiosis is fever. Other symptoms can include fatigue, chills, body aches, nausea and vomiting. People may also experience low blood pressure upon standing (orthostatic hypotension), red or brown urine and pale stools.
Some people may notice an enlarged spleen in combination with other symptoms of babesiosis. It’s important to note that there are many other illnesses that share some of these same symptoms, so it’s important to get a specific diagnosis by your doctor as soon as possible.
If you’re experiencing any combination of these symptoms or signs, contact your doctor right away for further evaluation and testing to rule out other conditions.
What Are Some Ways To Tell If You Have Babesiosis?
As mentioned, babesiosis symptoms in humans are similar to those of malaria and may include: fatigue, chills, fever, sweats and headaches. Additionally, in some people with Babesia microti (the type most often found in humans), skin rashes can occur on parts of their bodies that were bitten by a tick.
Finally, red blood cell counts can drop when you have babesiosis—so your doctor may notice that you’re pale and breathing fast or rapidly. If you go to an urgent care center for flu-like symptoms like these and you live in or travel to an area where ticks could be present, they’ll likely run some tests to figure out what’s going on with your body.
What Should I Do If A Tick Bites Me?
If you live in or visit a region where ticks are common, you should take steps to prevent tick bites. When outside in wooded or grassy areas, wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks. Use an insect repellent on your clothes and exposed skin that contains at least 20% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide).
Spray your clothes with permethrin directly or put it on shoes and socks before going outdoors. For your own safety, clear brush away from living areas and walk in cleared paths.
If you see a tick on yourself after being outdoors, remove it immediately with tweezers; grasp its head firmly but gently with tweezers and pull upward with steady pressure until removed from skin.
How many people are infected with Babesiosis?
There are more than 400,000 cases of babesiosis in America every year, but most people don’t get diagnosed or treated for it. You may not even know you’re infected. Many doctors aren’t familiar with all types of babesiosis and miss its symptoms when diagnosing patients.
This leads to a delayed or incorrect diagnosis, which can be deadly for those who don’t receive treatment early on in their disease progression.
What is Babesiosis Facts?
Babesiosis is a rare and life-threatening infection of red blood cells caused by tiny parasites called Babesia. The kind that most often affects humans is called Babesia microtia. It’s transmitted to people when they’re bitten by an infected deer tick.
Ticks carry a germ that causes Lyme disease, another tick-borne illness that can be serious. But it’s important to understand that Lyme disease and babesiosis are two separate conditions with different symptoms, risks, treatments and prevention strategies.
No matter where you live, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from ticks and ticks carrying babesia or Lyme disease!
Is it possible babesiosis diagnosed?
Since babesiosis can be so hard to diagnose, it’s important to remember that you may need several different tests. Your doctor will want to see a blood smear, or test your blood under a microscope to look for Babesia parasites. Your symptoms and a physical exam by your doctor may also help him or she come up with a diagnosis.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve been in an area where Lyme disease or babesiosis is common, because it’s possible that these diseases are causing your symptoms instead of babesiosis.
And remember, even if you don’t think you’re at risk for Lyme disease or babesiosis, it’s always wise to talk with your doctor about any new symptoms you develop. 10 e-book help you learn more about babesiosis.
To help prevent babesiosis, protect yourself against tick bites. (1) Wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants to make ticks easier to spot.
Tuck your pants into your socks and boots, then spray them with insect repellent. And (2) check for ticks after you’ve been outdoors, especially in wooded or grassy areas. Examine all of your clothes and skin when you get home; wash all clothes in hot water after leaving an area where ticks are present; shower soon after being outdoors to help wash off any hidden ticks.
And remember: Ticks tend to be more active at dawn and dusk, so try not to spend too much time outside during those times of the day.
What Is natural Treatment For Babesiosis?
The best babesiosis treatment option is determined by your personal circumstances. The goal of babesiosis treatment is to eradicate the parasite and relieve symptoms. Medications may be used to cure or control babesia, but they are expensive, especially when you consider that their effects can be short-lived. Therefore, herbs and natural remedies should always be considered as a first line of defense against babesiosis.