Warning Signs Of Babesiosis
Babesiosis is a disease that occurs when certain microscopic parasites infect red blood cells. These parasites are spread by certain types of ticks. For individuals in the United States, transmission by tick occurs most commonly in certain seasons and regions. The disease is most commonly found in the upper Midwest and Northeast during the warmest months. Many individuals with babesiosis don't have any symptoms, but treatment is available for those who do. Individuals can prevent the contraction of babesiosis by reducing their exposure to ticks. This means wearing long and protective clothing, checking themselves for ticks after being in places with potential exposure, and seeing your doctor if they have a potentially infected bite. Depending on the symptoms, the condition can be severe. There have been rare cases where babesiosis was fatal.
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Hemolytic anemia is one of the potential complications of a babesiosis infection. This condition occurs when an individual's red blood cells are destroyed at a rate faster than they're being made. In turn, this causes patients to have a lower amount of red blood cells than they need, which is why this is a form of anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, supplying the heart and brain and muscle tissues with the oxygen they need to function properly. The bone marrow produces red blood cells.
When hemolytic anemia is caused by babesiosis, it's usually the extrinsic form of the disease. There are multiple ways extrinsic hemolytic anemia can form. If an autoimmune reaction occurs or the spleen destroys healthy blood cells, it can lead to this condition. Parasitic infections like babesiosis can also cause this if they destroy red blood cells at rapid rates. Other potential causes of this condition include bacterial or viral infections that destroy blood cells, tumors, medication side effects, lymphoma, and leukemia.
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