NEWS: Red Cross Worried Over Growing Cases of Babesiosis
The Minnesota Department of Health reported in May that the number of state cases jumped from 31 in 2009 to 56 last year, the highest annual total ever seen in Minnesota. Babesiosis is caused by a parasite that invades the blood stream and doesn't always cause symptoms. Like Lyme disease, It is transmitted by ticks. Unfortunately, there is no quick screening method for the parasite. A local branch of the Minnesota Red Cross is initiating a study this summer to determine how many donors are already infected. This is essentially, then, screening for the condition among blood donors. It will be interesting to see how their results compare to the officially reported number of cases. Apparently, quick screen blood tests are currently being developed.
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