Tick-Borne Diseases: Babesiosis

Tick-Borne Diseases: Babesiosis

New research published by the CDC has shown that cases of Babesiosis have significantly increased in the Northeast. Babesiosis had previously been extremely rare in the United States for decades, and it is speculated that the increase has been driven by a combination of rising temperatures and the growing population of deer. Although they do not carry the parasite that causes Babesiosis, deer are a food source for ticks and aid in their transportation.

With proper precautions, the risks associated with diseases like Lyme and Babesiosis can be greatly reduced. An important first step to this is understanding key facts, what to look for, and how best to defend yourself.

What Is Babesiosis?

Babesiosis is a tick-borne illness caused by a parasite called Babesia. It is most common in the northeastern and upper Midwestern United States, but it can be found in other parts of the country as well. Babesiosis can be serious, especially for people with weakened immune systems or other risk factors.

How Is Babesiosis Spread?

Babesia microti infects mice and other small mammals like rodents. Blacklegged ticks, also known as the deer tick, are the most common tick that carries Babesiosis. The disease is transmitted to humans from the bite of a tick after it has fed on infected mammals. Babesiosis can also be spread through blood transfusions, but this is rare.

What Are the Symptoms of Babesiosis?

The symptoms of babesiosis can vary from person to person. Some people may not have any symptoms at all, while others may experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue, and headache. In more severe cases, babesiosis can cause anemia, jaundice, and organ failure.

How Is Babesiosis Diagnosed?

Babesiosis can be diagnosed with a blood test. The blood test will look for the presence of Babesia parasites in the blood.

How Is Babesiosis Treated?

Babesiosis is treated with antimicrobial drugs. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary. If you think you have babesiosis, see your doctor right away. Babesiosis can be serious, but it is treatable.

How Can I Prevent Babesiosis?

There are a few things you can do to prevent babesiosis:

  •  Avoid areas where ticks are common.
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when you are in areas where ticks are common.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET.
  • Treat the perimeter of the property with a tick control treatment throughout the season.
  • Check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks after you have been in an area where ticks are common.
  • Remove ticks promptly should any be found.

Reducing the population of ticks on your property will greatly contribute to a much lower risk level. Mainely Grass offers both Traditional and Organic options for Tick Control, which involve treating the wood line and around a property to create the best barrier possible against all species of ticks, including deer ticks. These treatments are combined with a sticking agent to better adhere to target locations for added longevity and resistance to post-treatment rainfall. Additionally, our Traditional Tick Control Programs include formulations that disrupt the reproductive lifecycle of ticks to enhance population control.


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