Gov’t Says Tick-Borne Infection Becoming a Threat to Blood Supply

Posted on September 6, 2011

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On Monday, government researches said that Babesiosis, a parasite that can cause severe disease and even death, is becoming a growing threat to the U.S. blood supply.

Common symptoms of Babesia infections are anemia, fever, chills, and fatigue.  More serious symptoms include organ failure and death.

Babesiosis occurs naturally in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.

About the parasitic infection, the Center for Disease Control notes that it has become the most frequently reported transfusion-transmitted parasite in the U.S.

Of the 162 cases of Babesia infection by blood transfusions between 1979 and 2009, nearly 80% occurred between 2000 and 2009.

Premature infants are particularly vulnerable seeing as newborns with low weight are at greater risk of severe infection.

Currently, there are no FDA approved diagnostic tests that can detect the parasite before people donate blood.

For further information please visit the CDC website.

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