New concern for tick-borne diseases

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(ABC 6 News) – Tick season is underway in much of the United States and this year another tick-borne disease is on the list of concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control has discovered a significant increase in reported cases of Babesiosis infection in parts of the United States.

The disease is found in the same type of ticks that transport Lyme disease.

Symptoms of the infection are similar to those of a mild flu but can become life-threatening. Symptoms can start within a week after a bite from an infected tick.

The best way to avoid getting sick tick-borne is to avoid getting tick bites.

“You want to avoid the areas where ticks are found and in the upper Midwest and eastern states where babesiosis is found, that means areas in the woods where there is brush, leaf litter and tall grasses,” explained Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic

Doctor Pritt says to also use bug spray when outdoors as well as to wear protective clothing especially in wooded areas.