What is Babesiosis?
Babesiosis is a microscopic parasitic disease, also called a tick-born disease, that infects red blood cells caused due to changes in human behavior and warmer weather. There are two main animals on which these ticks survive. These are mice and deer and people move to the areas and come in contact with these animals and acted as hosts for the ticks. It is very common in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States since 2011 and increased significantly. Now Human babesiosis, the endemic disease, has spread to three new states named Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, reported by CDC.
Babesia microti is spread by Ixodes scapularis ticks, commonly named black-legged or deer ticks. It is mainly spread by the young nymph stage of the tick. These nymphs are present in the warm season. Some people got infected after the transfusion of contaminated blood. A newborn baby may also get infected by his/her mother during pregnancy or delivery.
The symptoms of the disease are varying as a decade and it took about a month to appear symptoms after the bite. If contaminated blood is infused then it would take 2 months to show symptoms. Moreover, healthy populations with babesiosis remain asymptomatic. People infected with babesiosis feel fatigued and hemolysis was detected as the parasite destroys the red blood cell. Common symptoms include sweating, chilling, and thrombocytopenia and these symptoms remain for several months.
Some other symptoms are following and vary from person to person.
Muscle Pain Anorexia
Loss in weight
Redness in eye
Fear from light
Enlargement in spleen and liver
In severe cases, high fever up to 40.5 °C (105 °F) occurs in patients with chilling and severe hemolytic anemia. Some people experience depression and organ failure.
In the United State, babesiosis in humans mainly occurred due to Babesia microti. Rodents act as primary hosts and deer ticks act as vectors. These rodents and deer are very native to people living in the US and easily transmit the parasite to humans. These parasites enter the bloodstream and infect the red blood cell by rupturing them causing hemolytic anemia.
A Babesiosis smear is the microscopic examination of a blood sample infected with the parasite. This test has pursued the confirmation of the disease. Giemsa or Wright stains are used to identify the infected red blood cell. At the initial stage, the rate of infection is less than 1%, so multiple smear tests are performed for confirmation.
Babesiosis treatment and prevention:
It is advisable for people to wear light-colored clothes while going out walking on the ground and in wooden areas. Clothes should be interlocked i.e. shirt should be tucked inside the pant and the pants should be tucked inside the socks. Avoid areas having high grass. CDC recommends the washing of clothes with insect repellents or containing 0.5% permethrin, a common insecticide.
Infection on the skin is rare due to babesiosis disease. However, co-infection with babesia may affect the rashes on the skin occurred due to Lyme disease. Otherwise, no babesiosis rashes occurred due to this parasitic bite.
Treatments for babesiosis are available. People should confirm the correct diagnosis with testing from a reputed clinical laboratory. Asymptomatic people need not required treatment. People that have confirmed the babesiosis disease should consult their healthcare adviser for proper medication.
babesiosis treatment in ancient science:
Ayurvedic medicines were used from ancient times and they are believed to be effective and safe from childhood to adulthood. Herbal medicines are meant to be the treatment of disease from the root with no side effects. These medicines have taken longer time than the allopathic medicine systems. Study shows that Garlic oil, Black pepper, and their constituents have a positive effect against babesiosis duncani on animal hamster model. These findings of herbal plants show that these plants have anti-parasitic activity. Many different studies show that herbal medicine extracts of Uncaria tomentosa, Stevia rebaudiana, Juglans nigra, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Artemisia annua, Andrographis paniculata, Dipsacus fullonum, Withania somnifera, Scutellaria baicalensis, and Polygonum cuspidatum have a potential effect against babesiosis when study carried out on the animal model. These extracts can be used for human beings once their clinical study will complete.
Babesiosis is a disease that can be prevented by taking extra care when we go outside. Moreover, they mainly acted upon red blood cells that affect our health system abruptly. By adding the herbs dictated above to our daily eating habits we can save ourselves from this dangerous disease. Rightly said that “prevention is better than cure”.
Image Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/