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Is Massachusetts the land of tick-borne illness?

Posted by Mosquito Squad

December 19, 2023

As tick control experts, we often have the unfortunate job of informing the public about the dangers of tick-borne diseases.

Babesiosis is one of those dangerous tick-borne diseases, which is transmitted to humans by deer ticks, was on that list in the last few years as the number of cases began to climb and the danger of the parasite became evident. There is hope for treating Babesiosis more effectively today.

Improved Babesiosis Treatment in Central Mass

While currently treatable, Babesiosis patients have a high rate of relapse due to the parasite developing resistance. In 2016, scientists at Yale have discovered a combination therapy that effectively cured Babesiosis in mice while also preventing recurrence. This discovery is very important, as previous combination therapies were unsuccessful in targeting the enzyme that was allowing the parasite to cultivate resistance. Former treatments include a combination of Atovaquone and Azithromycin. The combination Yale has had success with is Atovaquone combined with ELQ-334. ELQ-334 works much like Atovaquone, but it targets a different enzyme for lowering risk of relapse. With the newly developed therapy, it is “nearly impossible for the parasite to develop resistance.”

As previously reported in 2016, Babesiosis in humans was on the rise in the northeastern United States. Massachusetts is part of a cluster of 7 states where 95% of the cases of Babesiosis were reported in 2013. According to pharmpro news, as much as 19% of ticks and 42% of mammals carrying Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) are co-infected with the B. microti parasite which causes Babesiosis. With the prevalence of Babesiosis on the rise in Central Massachusetts, news of better Babesiosis treatment could not have been more welcome.

Please seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have been bitten by an infected tick.

Babesiosis Rates in MA, 2011 – 2018

While the Northeastern states report the most cases of this tick-borne illness, Massachusetts maintains the highest rank in the entire United States for annual Babesiosis cases, according to the CDC.

  • 2011 – 208 Cases
  • 2012 – 261 Cases
  • 2013 – 417 Cases
  • 2014 – 535 Cases
  • 2015 – 444 Cases
  • 2016 – 517 Cases
  • 2017 – 591 Cases
  • 2018 – 527 Cases

Protect your home and family from the threat of tick diseases, like Babesiosis, with professional tick control.

Mosquito Squad is committed to providing you the best information on the threat of tick-borne diseases in Central Mass. Stay tuned for the latest on ticks in the area. Be sure to follow the 6 C's of tick control to make certain your yard is not inadvertently attracting ticks. Further fortify your yard with Mosquito Squad’s effective tick protection program. Ask us about our year-round tick control solutions!

Choose Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge for tick control to help reduce the threat of ticks and the illnesses they carry around your home. Call us today at (978) 381-4028.