Add another serious disease to the list of tick-borne infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that babesiosis has become 20 times more common in the Lower Hudson Valley over the past decade. The disease is also spreading into regions where it was once rare. Like Lyme disease, the infection can be transmitted by a deer tick bite. The pathogen, Babesia microti, lives in red blood cells like malaria parasites. Most people who become infected have few or no symptoms, but some become extremely ill with fever, chills, sweats and muscle pain. Public health authorities are concerned that the disease may be spread by blood transfusions, because there is currently no accepted screening test to detect it in donated blood.
[Emerging Infectious Disease, May 2011]