Babesiosis is a tick-borne parasitic disease that primarily plagues the Northeast and Midwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The parasites usually embed themselves in mice and other rodents, giving ticks the opportunity to feed on infected animals.
Here’s what else you need to know about the tick-borne disease spreading in parts of the United States
What are the symptoms of babesiosis?
While many people with the disease have no symptoms, others develop the following flu-like symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
For immunocompromised people, the disease can be more severe or fatal.
Why has babesiosis become so prevalent?
The disease, which was once very rare in the United States, has become so widespread due to rising temperatures and growing deer populations in the Northeast and Midwest, according to The New York Times.
How to treat and prevent babesiosis?
Antiparasitic drugs are usually the standard treatment for these types of infections for symptomatic patients. However, asymptomatic people generally do not need treatment, according to the CDC.
Babesiosis can be prevented by avoiding tall grass and overgrown areas and by wearing long pants and tick repellent. Additionally, you can check for ticks daily to make sure they are not encrusting themselves and transmitting parasites.
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