Health officials warn about another tickborne illness

Health officials warn about another tickborne illness

Tick bites usually bring the thought of possible Lyme disease to mind. But anyone planning to travel to the upper Midwest of New England this summer should also be on the lookout for another potentially severe tickborne illness common in some of those states, babesiosis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Thursday.

Last year, there were 1,100 cases of babesiosis, an infection of the red blood cells caused mostly by the bite of an infected deer tick.

Babesiosis can come without any symptoms at all, but some people will develop fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, nausea, loss of appetite, and other flu-like symptoms.

If symptoms are going to appear, they’re could develop about a week after infection, but it usually takes a few weeks or months, according to the CDC. The treatment is antibiotics.

Babesiosis can be life-threatening to the elderly, people who don’t have a spleen and those with a serious health condition or weakened immune system due to disease.

Most cases occur in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.
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