Babesiosis Disease On The Rise In New Jersey
For many New Jersey residents, especially those that spend a lot of time outdoors every summer, Lyme disease has been top of mind for quite some time now, and with good reason – this tick-borne illness can significantly impact health. Unfortunately, the CDC is warning of another illness spread by deer ticks – Babesiosis disease. With the number of cases increasing 25% from 2011 to 2019 and endemic transmission occurring in several Northeast states including the Garden State, it’s clear Babesiosis disease has become significantly more prevalent.
What is Babesiosis disease exactly?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines Babesiosis as a tickborne disease caused by intraerythrocytic Babesia parasites. In simpler terms, this disease is caused by the bite of a tick, infected with Babesia microti, a microscopic parasite that infects red blood cells. In the Northeast, that tick is the black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick.
How Babesiosis is spread
While most cases are acquired by tick bite, it should be noted that it can be spread by blood transfusion, organ transplant if the donor was infected, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy or delivery.
Symptoms of Babesiosis disease
It may be hard to identify Babesiosis as the culprit because many signs and symptoms resemble that of the flu and other tick-borne illnesses. That said, symptoms of Babesiosis disease include:
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite
More severe symptoms include:
- Hemolytic anemia
- Low and unstable blood pressure
- Very low platelet count
- Malfunction of vital organs
In some cases, Babesiosis disease may prove fatal.
Should you be worried about Babesiosis disease?
Here’s the thing, Babesiosis disease has been in parts of the Northeast and other regions of the country for close to 50 years, it just hasn’t been common. It’s making news now because cases are significantly increasing each year. So aren’t the tick populations though. To answer the initial question, New Jersey residents should be aware of the tick-borne illness and take the proper precautions when spending time outside. Although this disease can prove fatal, it is often successfully treated by medical providers.
How you can protect yourself from Babesiosis and other tick-borne diseases
If you spend a lot of time in your backyard or in wooded areas, we suggest:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Applying tick repellent
- Checking yourself for ticks after each excursion
- Checking children and pets for ticks too
Don’t forget to have your property treated for ticks
In addition to implementing the tick bite prevention tips above, we also recommend signing up for seasonal tick control. While it’s impossible to 100% eliminate these biting pests, seasonal treatments drastically reduce tick populations in backyards.
Sign up for Arrow’s Bite Back! Program and we’ll take care of ticks (and mosquitoes too)
- Granular tick applications in April & October
- Monthly mosquito and tick treatments May through September
- Re-treatments at no charge should weather or other factors interfere with your service efficacy
When you sign up with our locally owned and family-operated pest control company, we’ll send out a licensed pest control specialist every month April through October to treat areas where mosquitoes and ticks breed and where they rest. This includes misting tree leaves, fence lines, areas where the manicured lawn meets woods, and other hot spots! Don’t wait for ticks to bite, contact us today to learn more about our seasonal solution and get ready to reclaim your yard!
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