NEWS: CDC calls tick-borne babesia a threat to US blood supply, says screening of blood donors is needed
US blood supplies are becoming increasingly infected with Babesia, a tick-borne parasite of red blood cells, according to a newly published article by the Centers for Disease Control.
From Medical News Today:
Blood Supply Threatened by Tickborne Parasite Babesia
US blood supplies are becoming increasingly infected with Babesia, a tickborne parasite of red blood cells. The infection is transmitted through blood transfusions. Since 1979, when transfusion-associated babesiosis was first reported, the number of reported cases has been progressively increasing, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced in Annals of Internal Medicine after carrying out a collaborative study of the last thirty years.
The authors comment on 159 reported cases of Babesia-tainted blood used in transfusions that led to babesiosis from 1970 through 2009 – 77% of them occurred after 2000.
Many individuals infected with Babesia may feel fine; they have no symptoms. However, they can pass the infection on if they donate blood.
There is no FDA-approved screening test for prospective blood donors that detects Babesia, the authors wrote.
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Click here to read the report in Annals of Internal Medicine.