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Surveillance Reveals Common Tickborne Threat in US Northeast and Midwest

Surveillance Reveals Common Tickborne Threat in US Northeast and Midwest

By Bridget M. Kuehn

From News@JAMA, July 13, 2012

People should take action to prevent tick bites in the Northeast and upper Midwest, where infections with babesiosis are common, according to a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Individuals living in or visiting the Northeast or upper Midwest regions of the United States have another good reason to be vigilant about preventing tick bites: a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that infections with the tickborne infection babesiosis are common in the United States.

Prompted by an increase in reports of babesiosis infections transmitted by tick bites and blood transfusion in the United States, the CDC launched a national surveillance program to assess the frequency of babesiosis transmission. The surveillance program, which included 18 states and New York City, identified 1124 confirmed and probable cases, including 10 associated with blood transfusion. The vast majority of cases were reported in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. More than half of the cases occurred in individuals aged 60 years or older, and most patients (82%) experienced the onset of symptoms during the months of June, July, and August…

…they advise people in affected regions to avoid tick-infested areas, to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside, to apply repellents, and to shower and check for ticks after potential exposure.

Incidence* of reported cases of babesiosis, by county of residence† — 18 states,§ 2011

(Larger image at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6127a2.htm?s_cid=mm6127a2_w)

The figure shows incidence of reported cases of babesiosis, by county of residence, in 18 states during 2011. The 1,124 cases occurred in residents of 15 of the 18 states in which babesiosis was a reportable disease in 2011; 1,092 cases (97%) were reported by the seven main B. microti-endemic states. County-level incidence rates ranged from 0 to >100 cases per 100,000 persons.

 * Per 100,000 persons.† N = 1,116; county of residence was unknown for eight of the 1,124 patients.§ California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.Alternate Text: The figure above shows incidence of reported cases of babesiosis, by county of residence, in 18 states during 2011. The 1,124 cases occurred in residents of 15 of the 18 states in which babesiosis was a reportable disease in 2011; 1,092 cases (97%) were reported by the seven main B. microti-endemic states. County-level incidence rates ranged from 0 to >100 cases per 100,000 persons.Related Resources

  • Ticks (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
    How to avoid ticks, what to do if bitten, tick information (as life cycle),related disease information, and more
  • Tick Bites (MedlinePlus)
    Links to basic information, specific conditions, research, news, and more

July 16, 2012 - Posted by | environmental health | , ,

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