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Babesiosis - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention in Pakistan

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Summary about Babesiosis

Babesiosis is an uncommon and potentially fatal illness of the red blood cells caused by ticks. It is caused by Babesia parasites, which are microscopic in size. When an infected deer tick bites you, they enter your bloodstream. Babesia microti is the kind that most commonly infects people. Babesia microti is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks, often known as black-legged ticks or deer ticks. During the warm months (spring and summer), nymphs can be found in locations with forests, bushes, or grass. Because Ixodes scapularis nymphs are so tiny, infected people may not recall a tick bite. The bite-size may not be larger than a poppy seed.
Receiving a contaminated blood transfusion or transmission from an infected mother to her infant during pregnancy or delivery are additional possible methods of getting infected with Babesia.

Symptoms of Babesiosis

Many persons infected with Babesia microti feel normal and show no symptoms. Flu-like signs, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body pains, lack of appetite, nausea, or exhaustion, might occur in some persons. Babesiosis can induce hemolytic anaemia because Babesia parasites attack red blood cells (from the destruction of red blood cells).

Babesiosis may be a severe, life-threatening disease, especially in persons who:
• lack a spleen;
• have a weakened immune system due to another condition (such as cancer, lymphoma, or AIDS);
• have other significant health issues (such as liver or renal disease);
• are old.

Causes of Babesiosis

An infection causes babesiosis with a parasite of the species Babesia, similar to malaria. Nuttalia is another name for the Babesia parasite. The parasite develops and reproduces inside the infected person's or animal's red blood cells, producing severe agony due to red blood cell rupture.

Babesia parasites are found in over 100 different species. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, Babesia microti is the most prevalent trusted Source strain infecting people. Other strains are capable of infecting:

  • horses
  • pigs
  • sheeps
  • goats
  • dogs

Risk Factors of Babesiosis

Risk factors

Babesiosis can be a life-threatening condition for people:

  • With no spleen
  • Weakened immune system

Adults with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to this disease.

Preventive Measures of Babesiosis

Ticks that transmit babesiosis must generally remain on your body for 36 to 48 hours to infect you. Here are a few methods to avoid one:

  • Keep ticks at bay by avoiding overgrown grasses and leaf heaps.
  • When you're in tick-infested areas, wear long trousers tucked into your socks and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing to make it easier to identify ticks.
  • Apply DEET-containing insect repellent to your skin and clothes.
  • Check your clothing and pets for ticks before heading inside.
  • Once inside, use a full-length or hand-held mirror to inspect your whole body for ticks.
  • Ticks should be removed using sharp tweezers.

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