THURSDAY, March 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of babesiosis is increasing in certain states, including Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, which should now be considered to have endemic transmission, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Noting that U.S. tickborne disease cases increased from 2011 to 2019, Megan Swanson, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed babesiosis trends in 10 states where babesiosis was reported during 2011 to 2019.
The researchers found significant increases in incidence in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, with the largest increases reported in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut (1,602, 1,422, 372, and 338 percent, respectively). Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont were not included as states with endemic disease in previous CDC babesiosis surveillance studies, but should now be considered to have endemic transmission, according to the researchers. These states have consistently identified newly acquired cases every year during 2011 and 2019, and the associated tick vector has documented presence of Babesia microti.
“Members of the public and health care providers in states with endemic babesiosis and bordering states should be aware of the clinical signs of babesiosis and risk factors for Babesia infection,” the authors write. “Persons spending time outdoors in states with endemic babesiosis should practice tick bite prevention, including wearing long pants, avoiding underbrush and long grass, and using tick repellents.”
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