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A tick-borne parasite that causes a potentially deadly infection is hiding in America's blood supply. No FDA-approved diagnostic test can detect its presence. Should we panic?
Well, to adopt the appropriate emotional response, let's first examine some facts about this parasite, named Babesia microti, and Babesosis, its signature sickness. As Reuters reports, Babesiosis infections often lead to "anemia, fever, chills and fatigue," but sometimes causes people's organs to fail, and/or kills them.
Of the 162 cases of Babesia infection caused by blood transfusions between 1979 and 2009, nearly 80 percent occurred between 2000 and 2009. "Babesia microti has become the most frequently reported transfusion-transmitted parasite in the United States," CDC researchers wrote, far outpacing malaria infections, which accounted for 49 cases of transfusion-associated disease during the same period, including just five cases during 2000-2009. Premature infants appear to be especially vulnerable.
There are currently no diagnostic tests approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that can detect the infection before people donate blood.
Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by ModernAcademia
I don't think it is similar to Morgellan's. I was under the impression that they didn't even know what caused Morgellans at this point.
A high index of suspicion is necessary to diagnose babesiosis. Babesiosis develops only in patients who live in or travel to an endemic area or receive a contaminated blood transfusion within the preceding 9 weeks, so this aspect of the medical history is vital. Babesiosis may be suspected when a person with such an exposure history develops persistent fevers and hemolytic anemia. The definitive diagnostic test for babesiosis is the identification of parasites on a Giemsa-stained thin blood smear. So-called "Maltese cross formations" on the blood film are essentially diagnostic of babesiosis, since they are not seen in malaria, the primary differential diagnosis. Careful examination of multiple blood smears may be necessary, since Babesia may infect less than 1% of circulating red blood cells and thus be easily overlooked.