There has been a rise in tick-borne Babesiosis cases in New England recently — here is why.
Babesiosis is a disease transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. It is known to cause fever, chills, headaches, and other flu-like symptoms. More people than ever before have been infected with Babesiosis in recent years. The increase has been influenced by rising temperatures and the larger population of deer, both factors assisting the tick population in rising and thriving.
The number of Babesiosis cases in the northeastern portion of the United States "significantly increased" between 2011 and 2019, research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates. You cannot stop ticks from carrying Babesiosis. However, if you understand the disease, you can take precautions to protect yourself and others from it.
What Is Babesisos Exactly?
Babesiosis is a disease caused by microscopic parasites. The disease has been reported throughout the Northeast and the Upper Midwest.
Ticks are known to carry Babesiosis and can spread the disease through bites. While some infected with Babesiosis are asymptomatic, others will develop flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, fever, chills, body aches, headaches, sweats, or loss of appetite. These symptoms can be particularly harsh and even fatal for those with a weak immune system, no spleen, or other severe health conditions.
People who develop symptoms may begin to notice anywhere from one week to a few months after the tick bite and occasionally longer. The irregular and sometimes lengthy incubation period makes sharing pertinent information with your healthcare provider difficult.
What to Do If You Experience Babesiosis Symptoms
At the first sign of Babesiosis symptoms, consult a doctor. If your doctor diagnoses you with Babesiosis, they may start treating it immediately.
Oftentimes, doctors prescribe a combination of medications to patients coping with Babesiosis. The medications are usually taken over a seven- to 10-day period. Treatment is individualized by a medical professional for each specific patient and may include antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs.
In severe cases, doctors may recommend supportive care for patients dealing with Babesiosis. These patients may require blood transfusions, dialysis, or other supplementary treatments to address their Babesiosis symptoms.
Tick Control Tips to Reduce Risk for Babesiosis
Some of the best things you can do to guard against tick-borne diseases:
- Stay in the middle of a path. If you are walking on a trail in a wooded area or other areas where ticks may be present, stay in the center, as this reduces your risk of coming into contact with ticks.
- Limit the amount of exposed skin. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and other clothing that minimizes your exposure to ticks.
- Apply a tick repellent. Use a tick repellent containing DEET on your arms, legs, and other areas of exposed skin.
- Check for ticks frequently. Following tick check protocol after spending time outdoors is a crucial strategy for reducing the risk for all tick-borne diseases.
Along with the tips above, hiring a tick control company, like Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts, can make a world of difference. Choose one with licensed and highly-trained technicians who understand the dangers of ticks. These technicians can evaluate your property and look for areas where ticks congregate. Once assessed, they can perform a tick control treatment to help reduce the tick population on your property.
Schedule a Tick Control Treatment
Mosquito Squad of Southeastern Massachusetts urges you to stay informed regarding Babesiosis and other tick-borne diseases. Follow the 6 C's of tick control to make your property less attractive to deer and ticks. To learn about our tick control treatment options, please contact us online or call us today at (774) 234-4611.