According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babesiosis is a tick-borne parasitic disease that occurs primarily in the Northeast and Midwest.
The parasites typically burrow into mice and other rodents, allowing the ticks to feed on the infected animals.
Here’s what else you need to know about the tick-borne disease that’s spreading across the United States
What are the symptoms of babesiosis?
Although many people with the disease have no symptoms, others develop the following flu-like symptoms:
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite
In immunocompromised people, the disease can be more serious or fatal.
Why did babesiosis spread so widely?
According to The New York Times, the disease, which used to be very rare in the United States, became so widespread because of rising temperatures and the growth of deer populations in the Northeast and Midwest.
How can babesiosis be treated and prevented?
Antiparasitic drugs are usually the standard course of treatment for this type of infection in symptomatic patients. However, asymptomatic people usually 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 repellants. You can also check for ticks daily to make sure ticks aren’t burrowing into themselves and transmitting parasites.
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