Babesiosis is caused by parasites in the genus Babesia. B. microti
is responsible for most infections in the United States. Human babesiosis in
endemic in the northeastern coastal areas of the country, with cases also
reported in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, California, Washington, Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Missouri, Georgia, and Mexico. The tick vector, Ixodes scapularis,
also transmits Lyme disease.
Symptoms and Treatment
Many Babesia infections are thought to be asymptomatic. Among those
who become sick, symptoms tend to appear between 1 and 4 weeks after a tick bite
and include fever, headache, chills, and muscle weakness. More severe cases are
seen in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Medication is
available for the treatment of Babesiosis.
Babesiosis in Florida
Babesiosis is not considered a significant human health issue in Florida.
However, it is important to be aware of the disease as human cases continue to
be diagnosed in northeastern states. Babesiosis is not currently a reportable
disease in Florida.
Prevention of Tick-borne Diseases
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) Parasites and Health - Babesiosis