We've all heard of lyme disease before and know that when you're out in wooded areas that you need to take precautions to keep yourself safe from possible tick bites. But a new infection from ticks is on the rise. The condition is called babesiosis and is a malaria-like illness that comes from the parasite Babesia microti, which lives in red blood cells and is carried by deer ticks. Although it's far less common than Lyme Disease, the disease can be fatal in people who have compromised immune systems.
And the worst part? The new infection is becoming more common in the Northeast and may be spreading to the upper Midwest, according to a recent article in The New York Times. Scientists are concerned that babesiosis could pose a threat to the blood supply, as many who have the parasite are not aware of it and may transfer it when giving blood because most blood is not tested for the parasite Babesia.
So how do you know if you have babesiosis? Unfortunately the symptoms are vague, and there is no distinctive rash like Lyme disease.
• Muscle aches and pains
Stay safe and covered in wooded areas this summer!