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Under-The-Radar Tick Diseases Spreading Across the U.S.

Public Health

An MSNBC story details the spread of babesiosis, which is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells and are spread by certain ticks.

| March 10, 2011

An MSNBC story “Under-the-radar tick diseases spreading across the U.S.,” details the spread of babesiosis, which is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells and are spread by certain ticks.

The article notes that babesiosis used to be rare, except off the Massachusetts coast, where decades ago it earned the name Nantucket fever. In 2001, only five cases were reported in the lower Hudson Valley, where infected resident Jacqueline Moore lives. But the year she got sick (2008), doctors diagnosed 120 cases — a 20-fold increase.

"It is so new in our area, it has flown under the radar," says Moore's physician Gary P. Wormser, M.D., the chief of infectious diseases at Westchester Medical Center and New York Medical College and head of a team researching tick diseases. "A lot of patients haven't heard of it, and a lot of doctors don't know about it."

In fact, babesiosis is one of a raft of under-the-radar tick diseases spreading across the United States.
"We've seen pretty dramatic increases," says Jennifer McQuiston, an epidemiology team leader in the vector-borne disease division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "We're told to get out and exercise and enjoy nature, so we need to be aware."

Click here to read the entire article.

Source: MSNBC
 

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