ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nasty Infectious Diseases You Want To Avoid - Babesiosis

Updated on November 30, 2008

Babesiosis (babesiasis), is a rare, occasionally fatal, disease caused by a tick-borne microorganism similar to both Lyme disease and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE). Also known as Nantucket Fever, it is most often seen in the elderly and those with impaired immune systems. Severe cases have been diagnosed in those who have had their spleen removed prior to exposure.

Most cases of babesiosis have been reported in summer and fall in the northeastern United States, especially Nantucket, Shelter Island in New York, and other offshore islands in New England. However, cases have recently been identified in the upper Midwest, the Pacific Coast states, and Europe. A related species has caused a babesiosis-like illness in Washington and California.

Cause - Babesiosis is caused by protozoa similar to those that cause malaria (the species Babesia microti); it is passed via the bite of ticks; the most common is the species Ixodes dammini which is also known as Ixodes scapularis. The tick is carried by meadow voles, mice, and deer and is generally called the "blacklegged deer tick." A tick picks up the parasites by feeding on an infected mouse and then proceeds to pass the infection on by biting a new host, which could possibly be a human. In order to pass on the parasites, the tick must be attached to the skin for at least 36 hours. Once it has entered into the bloodstream, the Babesia microti enters a red blood cell, reproduces by the process of cell division, and manages to destroy the cell itself. Humans who are infected with Babesia microti can produce antibodies which can be of assistance in diagnosing the infection. The disease can also be transmitted via contaminated blood transfusions. The protozoa causing babesiosis was first identified by Roman bacteriologist Victor Babes, for whom the organism and the disease was named.

Symptoms - Babesiosis typically causes mild illness in otherwise healthy people, but it can be overwhelming to those with impaired immune systems. Symptoms appear within 1 to to 12 months after infection and include fever, fatigue, and hemolytic anemia lasting from several days to several months. A person may also have the disease with no symptoms at all. It is not known if a past infection renders a patient immune.

Diagnosis - Molecular tests are being developed, but currently the disease is diagnosed by microscopic examination of blood. The primary diagnostic test for babesiosis is to identify the parasites directly on a Giemsa-stained thin blood smear. An elevated level of suspicion is a predetermining factor in order to diagnose babesiosis, as the disease develops only in patients who have resided within an endemic area or have received a contaminated blood transfusion within the preceding two months, which makes this particular aspect of the medical history extremely vital.

Treatment - Standardized treatments have not been developed; however, a combination of antimalarial drugs as quinine and an antibiotic (clindamycin) are usually the drugs chosen by physicians treating the disease.

Prevention - The spread of babesiosis can be curtailed with the control of rodents around houses and the use of tick repellents.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)