Babesiosis is caused by a tiny parasite that infects red blood cells. It is spread mainly through ticks in the Northeast and upper Midwest United States.
Those who have been bitten by a tick and been infected may feel fine and not have any symptoms. Some people develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, nausea, and fatigue. Because babesiosis can infect red blood cells, babesiosis can cause hemolytic anemia (the destruction of red blood cells). Babesiosis can also be life-threatening, particularly to those with pre-existing conditions, weak immune systems, or have no spleen. Effective treatments are available. People who do not have any symptoms or signs of babesiosis usually do not need to be reated. Before considering treatment, the first step is to make sure the diagnosisi is correct.
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