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 have 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 treated. Before considering treatment, the first step is to make sure the diagnosis is correct.
Information for the General Public
Information for Public Health Departments
Education & Prevention
- Avoiding Tick Bites on People
- Avoiding Tick Bites on Pets
- Preventing Ticks in the Yard
- Removing a Tick