Diagnosing, Treating and Preventing Babesiosis
by N J Howell
Herbs against Babesia
This is part two of a health article on an infection that is often caused by tick bite, called babesiosis, or babesia. Please read part one for symptoms and causes of babesia. Please note that babesia is rare but, due to the potential for fatal consequences, it should be ruled out whenever symptoms present that might suggest it or malaria, since symptoms of both are common to each.
How is Babesiosis diagnosed?
A diagnosis of Babesiosis has been a bit tricky because many of the symptoms are the same as malaria and have led to a misdiagnosis. The difference between the malaria and babesiosis may be determined by specific blood testing. While some of the same medicines used to treat malaria are also used to treat babesiosis, they are not sufficient alone for this condition so a proper diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.
Apart from studying the symptoms, your personal history, including your tick bite, and a blood test will be required in order to appropriately diagnose Babesiosis.
There is something called the Maltese Cross, or the presence of tetrads is visible in the red blood cells of patients with Babesiosis, where a different, ring-like formation shows in patients with malaria. Some diagnostic tests employed include PCC techniques, IFA tests, and Giema stains.
How is babesia treated?
Babesiosis may be treated using a combination of anti-protozoan medicines as well as the same medicine that is used to treat malaria, oral quinine. In addition to oral quinine and anti-protozoan fomruls, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, such as clindamycin, alone or in combination with other drugs, including quinine sulfate. Azithromycin, another antibiotic, may also be combined with atovaquone, which is an antimalarial drug. In some cases, exchange blood transfusions also help treat Babesiosis.
Babesiosis-related health complications
As with other infections not immediately or properly treated, Babesiosis could cause complications, especially in the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, and those whose spleens have been removed. Reported babesia complications include liver problems, low blood pressure and severe anemia.
If infected with Lyme disease as well as Babesia, your condition could be more complicated. On the other hand, if you are healthy, Babesiosis may not be that harmful and may cause only momentary and mild health issues. Getting a diagnosis and early treatment are key. However, there are ways to reduce your risk of contracting this condition if you follow these babesia prevention tips
Holistic Wellbeing Disclaimer: Discuss with your doctor what you may expect when taking anti-parasitics. This health care information on babesiosis is not intended to replace any needed medical testing and evaluation.