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Babesiosis: Lyme Disease Not The Only Illness Ticks Spread

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Deer Tick (photo: bugguide.net)
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Deer Tick (photo: bugguide.net)

As the weather is warming up, more outdoor activities will take place, bringing with it dangers linked directly to insects.

Lyme disease is a major illness related with this. It’s caused by a tick that lives on deers. Coastal Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Long Island are on top of the list that concern Lyme Disease.

As if this wasn’t enough, it has been noted now, according to the website Green Living, that this tick is also causing babesiosisnce, another infectious disease. Government researchers have reported that the disease is mostly seen in the coastal Northeast and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Babesiosis, a malaria like illness, survives in red blood cells. The disease is less common, but can be fatal for some people.

In 2001 there were six cases of babesisosis, and in 2008 the number had increased to 119.

Symptoms of this disease may not even be seen at all. Some people might experience stages of flu-like symptoms. These can last up to six months and lead to hospitalizations, or even fatalities.

Scientists are still not clear why it is spreading slower than Lyme Disease, but have some theories formed. Babesiosis bacteria is also primarily carried by mice, who do not travel a broad area, whereas the bacteria that causes Lyme can be carried by birds and with this have a higher possibility to spread into wider areas.

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