Every time this year, public health departments in areas where ticks flourish seasonally sound the alarm for residents to check themselves, their children, and their pets for ticks. Often, especially on the East Coast, concern centers on Lyme disease. According to an article published in The Washington Post, however, a seldom-discussed tick-borne illness called babesiosis that carries a death rate of up to 20% in immunocompromised patients could be of greater concern. The piece recounts the case of an otherwise healthy 51-year-old man who died just days after being diagnosed with the parasitic infection, whose symptoms (yellowed skin, the inability to urinate, and night fevers among them) could indicate any number of potential diagnoses. The initial symptoms being relatively mild, it’s expected that patients would be likely to seek care at an urgent care center first—as the deceased person featured in the Post article did. Babesiosis is diagnosed most often by infectious disease specialists, according to the article, but urgent care providers would be well advised to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has a page dedicated to information on babesiosis.) JUCM published an article that could be helpful in preparing for tick season and its risks not long ago. You can read Welcome to Tick Season. This One Is Going to Be More Complicated Than Usual in our archive.

Lyme Disease May Be the Least of Our Concerns as Tick Season Approaches