Beware of babesiosis: A rare and severe case causing death.

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Beware of babesiosis: A rare and severe case causing death.

Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Aug 27;:

Authors: Greenberg K, Tahseen M, Davidson A

Babesiosis is an infectious disease caused by protozoa of the genus Babesia which is primarily transmitted by tick vectors. Most cases are asymptomatic or only mild to moderate, but some cases may be severe causing death. A 57 year old male with no reported travel outside the country was escorted by Emergency Medical Services to our Pennsylvania hospital in July of 2018 presenting with hypoglycemia, jaundice, and hypotension. Initial assessment further revealed the patient to be severely hypothermic. Resuscitative efforts began immediately and the laboratory reported parasites observed on the patient's peripheral blood smear. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit with severe septic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The patient was ultimately transferred to a tertiary care center for exchange transfusion therapy and veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support, but expired 36 h after presentation. Current CDC data reflects a steady rise of tick borne disease in the United States, but as of 2016 there have been no reported cases of babesiosis in the state of Pennsylvania, let alone fatalities. Clinicians need to be aware of the risk of fulminant illness when practicing in known endemic regions.

PMID: 30177264 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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