While Babesiosis has been a concern in some states in the US for many years, recent research has shown a significant increase in the number of cases in the northeastern states. In this article, we will explore what babesiosis is, what the latest research has found, and what preventive measures can be taken to avoid the spread of the disease.
What is Babesiosis?
Babesiosis is a deadly disease that occurs due to the parasitic infection of red blood cells. It is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks, particularly the black-legged or deer tick. While many infected individuals may not experience any symptoms, some can become severely ill. Common symptoms include fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening, especially in people with weakened immune systems or other serious health conditions.
The Rising Cases of Babesiosis in the US
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of babesiosis cases has significantly increased in the northeastern states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Until now, the disease was considered endemic only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. The CDC reported that from 2011 to 2019, 16,456 cases of babesiosis were reported in 37 states, with the largest number of cases reported in New York and Massachusetts.
Preventing and Treating Babesiosis
The most common way to treat babesiosis is through a course of antibiotics, but not all antibiotics work for everyone. According to experts, the combination of atovaquone and azithromycin is the mainstay of the treatment, although clindamycin plus quinine can also be used.
Prevention is the best approach when it comes to babesiosis. Experts advise using tick repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and doing a regular tick check after spending time outdoors. Additionally, it’s essential to check pets for ticks and remove them immediately to prevent them from carrying the disease into your home.
Category: Science & Technology Current Affairs