Babesiosis (buh-BEE-zee-oh-sis) andehrlichiosis cases are stilll far outpaced by Lyme disease. Physicians who are current on tick-borne illnesses find a percentage of their Lyme patients are co-infected. Andrea Gaito, a rheumatologist from Basking Ridge and president of the International Lyme Society, said 13% of her Lyme patients are also infected with babesiosis or ehrlichiosis. She described one patient she saw recently: “This patient’s Lyme test came back positive. She was being treated by a physical therapist who said to her, ‘Something’s wrong. You should be getting better.’ She came to me and I tested her. It turns out her Ehrlichia levels were off the wall.”
All three diseases are carried predominately by the deer tick and have similar symptoms, but they attack the body in different ways and require different treatments. Lyme is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacteria called spirochetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says long term complications can include arthritis, numbness and pain. It is distinguished by the characteristic bull’s eye rash and treated with antibiotics. Babesiosis is actually a parasitic organism. Infected blood can be mistaken for malaria. Patients may suffer from an enlarged spleen, said Philip Paparone, an infectious disease physician and Lyme expert in Atlantic County. Babesiosis patients may also be anemic, and can experience severe night sweats. Antiparasitic drugs, such as quinine, are used to treat the disease. Debate exists over whether the disease carries long term symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue. Some doctors say blood smears examined under a microscope do not always detect babesiosis, and so more sophisticated tests are necessary. The disease can also be transmitted through blood transfusions.
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Babesiosis
Unexplained high fevers or unexplained fevers that hit hard
Having a slight/having a moderate/having a high fever
Frequent/occassional 'chills' or having chills from an illness
Radiating/deep chest pain or chest wall pain
Air hunger or sudden shortness of breath
Conditions that suggest Babesiosis
Babesiosis can lead to
Babesiosis could instead be
Recommendations for Babesiosis
Some physicians have reported good results from treating Lyme disease with artemisinin. These are experimental or untested applications of the product.
Antibiotics are very effective, including Clindamycin, Zithromax, and Quinine being a good alternative. Clindamycin is active against organisms such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Babesia, and Pneumocystis spp.
|Weak or unproven link|
|Strong or generally accepted link|
|May do some good|
Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.
Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.
Destructive to parasites.