Dr. James Schaller, MD
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Florida Lyme Disease and Babesia

As the author of three books on Babesia, I would not agree that Babesia is not located in Florida.

Indeed, people exposed to wild brush areas, woods, or areas with deer or other small mammals have a serious Babesia risk.

Further, the notion only Babesia microti is present in Florida is wrong. Indeed, I have found Babesia WA-1 or B. duncani found in all states and all over Europe. Simply, the department of health is wrong.

Babesiosis

Babesiosis is caused by parasites in the genus Babesia. B. microti is responsible for most infections in the United States. Human babesiosis in endemic in the northeastern coastal areas of the country, with cases also reported in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, California, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Georgia, and Mexico. The tick vector, Ixodes scapularis, also transmits Lyme disease.

Symptoms and Treatment

Many Babesia infections are thought to be asymptomatic. Among those who become sick, symptoms tend to appear between 1 and 4 weeks after a tick bite and include fever, headache, chills, and muscle weakness. More severe cases are seen in the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Medication is available for the treatment of Babesiosis.

Babesiosis in Florida

Babesiosis is not considered a significant human health issue in Florida. However, it is important to be aware of the disease as human cases continue to be diagnosed in northeastern states. Babesiosis is not currently a reportable disease in Florida.


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