Babesiosis

tickBabesiosis is an illness caused by infection with Babesia parasites. The parasites are transmitted by the bite of an infected tick or, less commonly, through a blood transfusion.

Babesia microti is the species that is present in the northeastern United States. It is transmitted by the Ixodes scapularis tick, also known as the deer tick or black-legged tick. This is the same tick that can transmit Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. Awareness of this disease is increasing, and in January of 2011 babesiosis became a nationally notifiable condition.

How to Safely Remove a Tick

Try to remove the tick as soon as you discover it because prompt removal can prevent transmission of tick-borne diseases.

1. Use fine-tipped tweezers and firmly grasp the tick close to the skin. Avoid touching the tick with your bare hands

2. With a steady motion, pull straight up until all parts of the tick are removed.  Do not twist or jerk the tick. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouthparts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no longer transmit the disease-causing bacteria.

image of tick removal with tweezers

image of tick removal

DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick. These methods are not effective.

Thoroughly wash your hands and the bite area

After removing the tick, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean the tick bite with soap and water or use an antiseptic such as iodine scrub or rubbing alcohol.    

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