Dog disease is also a danger to humans. What are the symptoms of babesiosis? [WYJAŚNIAMY]


  1. In Poland, babesiosis is more common among animals than humans. But every year people get infected

  2. The most susceptible to the presence of ticks that spread babesiosis are the eastern regions (Podlaskie and Lubelskie), central (Mazowieckie and Łódzkie) and southern regions (Dolnoslaskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie).

  3. The best way to minimize the risk of pollution is to avoid forested and green areas

  4. More current information can be found on the Onet homepage

Babesiosis – what is this disease?

Babesiosis, Also known as piroplasmosis or northern malaria, the disease is mainly transmitted by ticks. Reservoirs are home to rodents, as well as wild and domestic animals. The vectors for the transmission of the disease – between animals or from animals to humans – are the same type of ticks that transmit tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme spirochete viruses. Babesia protozoa (Babesia divergens, Babesia microti, Babesia duncani) are responsible for the formation of babesiosis.

Protozoa enter human blood with the tick’s saliva. Human infections – although less common – can occur during blood transfusions or organ transplants, as well as during pregnancy and childbirth (through congenital transplacental transmission). Protozoa attack red blood cells, multiply inside them and then break them down – hemolysis.

Babesiosis – symptoms

Initially, the disease progresses without any characteristic symptoms. Its symptoms usually appear one to six weeks after a tick bite.

The symptoms of babesiosis mainly depend on the health status of the infected person and how good the immune system is. In young and healthy people, the infection may be completely asymptomatic or present with flu-like symptoms.

In people with weakened immune systems (children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases, especially people with autoimmune diseases, cancer patients, people living with HIV), the following can occur:


  1. temperature,

  2. weakness,

  3. excessive sweating,

  4. chills,

  5. cough,

  6. Headache,

  7. muscle or joint pain

  8. anorexia

  9. stomach pain,

  10. vomiting or diarrhea.

On physical examination, there may be an increase in heart rate, low blood pressure, yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes, enlargement of the liver and spleen, redness of the pharyngeal mucosa. Infection can result in hemolysis, kidney failure, pulmonary edema, and neurological disorders. Failure of the immune system, in extreme cases, can lead to the death of the patient.

The rest of the article is below the video.

Babesiosis – diagnosis

Babesiosis is a rare disease, so the diagnostic procedure is performed on people who have recently visited the site of the disease and received a blood transfusion. The basis of the diagnosis is a medical interview with the patient, which provides information about the symptoms of the disease, as well as examinations.

Diagnosis is based on a complete blood count and urine test. The main diagnosis for babesiosis is the presence of parasites in the blood smear or a positive PCR test result. Serological tests may also be needed to detect the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies specific for Babesia microti.

In case of infection with babesiosis, changes in the blood may be observed. These include low hemoglobin, low erythrocyte count, decreased platelets, as well as increased liver tests and bilirubin.

Babesiosis – treatment

Treatment consists of the use of antibiotics and antiprotozoal drugs, including antimalarial drugs: mefloquine, artemisine, atovaquone, quinine, azithromycin and clindamycin (usually in the regimens of atovaquone + azithromycin or quinine + clindamycin). The patient must also remember to properly hydrate the body. The treatment usually takes 7-10 days.

If organs are damaged as a result of complications of babesiosis, hospitalization and supportive care are required to support the function of the kidneys, liver, and respiratory system. Then the therapy can take several weeks.

In severe cases, a blood transfusion may be needed to replace infected red blood cells.

Babesiosis – How to prevent infection?

The best way to minimize the risk of babesiosis is to prevent it, as in Lyme disease, that is, to avoid places where ticks can occur.

Ticks prefer natural fabrics such as cotton. They don’t like synthetics. Therefore, wool or elastic sports suits work well as better protection. Long sleeves, pants, shoes that cover the feet – good protection against ticks. Some companies produce clothing impregnated with repellents – primarily permethrin.

The color of our clothes does not matter for ticks. The smell attracts them. Ticks react to the smell of sweat. They are also involved in increasing body temperature. But for a simple reason, it’s worth wearing light clothes in the woods or on a walk – dark ticks can look better on light fabrics.

Repellents, ie repellents, can also help protect against ticks. They can be natural (eg eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, clove oil) or chemical.

The best way to prevent a tick infection is to rub yourself with a soft brush in the shower when you get home. It is not enough to rinse yourself with water, because ticks have hooks on their feet that catch them as they walk on our skin.

In addition to the shower, it is worth remembering to wash the clothes we wear when traveling to endangered areas.

What attracts ticks? [INFOGRAFIKA]

What attracts ticks? [INFOGRAFIKA]

Map of ticks – here are most of them

Dog lovers, the creators of the site Ciemnastronawiosny.pl, have created a map of ticks, on which anyone who finds a tick can mark the places where they encountered this arachnid.

The map is updated in real time. As the authors of the map explain, “dangerous places are shown where the person who added them is, and the dots are shown anonymously, ie the actual place where the tick was found is approximately within a radius. 100 m “.

Important note! A place that is not marked on the map does not mean that it is empty.

We encourage you to listen to the latest episode of the RESET podcast. This time we dedicate it to ecology. How to be eco and not go crazy? How can we take care of our planet on a daily basis? What and how to eat? You will hear about this and many other topics related to ecology in the new issue of our podcast.

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