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Babesiosis is a parasite* carried by ticks that infects a human’s red blood cells. People get the disease when they are bitten by an infected* tick. People come in contact with ticks during outdoor activities in woody or grassy areas. This disease is more common during warm months.


How can I get sick? 

  • The most common way to get Babesiosis is being bitten by a tick that has the parasite*. 

Symptoms in humans: 

Some people might not have symptoms while others may develop the following:  

  • Fever (when your body gets a little hotter than normal) 
  • Chills (feeling of being cold and shivering) 
  • Sweats 
  • Headache  
  • Body pain 
  • Don’t feel hungry 
  • Feeling like you need to throw up 
  • Feeling very tired

Older people and people who are already sick with another illness may have worse symptoms or life-threatening symptoms.  

What can I do to stay healthy? 

Before you go outside 

  • Know where ticks live! 
    • Ticks live in grassy, bushy, or wooded areas. They also live on animals.  
      • When hiking or walking outside, try to stay on trails.  
      • While hunting or trapping, use gloves when touching an animal or harvesting* an animal. 
  • Hunting, camping, hiking, gardening, or playing outside can bring you close to ticks.  
  • Treat your clothes, gear (boots, tents, backpacks or camping gear), or any outdoor equipment with insect repellent*.  
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks when outside.   
  • Use insect repellents* while hiking, camping, hunting, or being outside. Ask an adult to help you with insect repellent*.


Before you come inside after being outside 

  • Check your clothes, pets, and gear (backpacks, shoes, tents) for ticks before going inside.  
  • If you have a tick on you, ask for help to have it removed.   
    • Shower soon after being outside to wash off ticks and do a tick check.  
    • Check your body for ticks after being outside. Check under your arms, in and around your ears, inside belly button, back of your knees, in and around your hair, between the legs, and around your waist.  


  • Harvesting an animal: The process of removing an animal to be used for meat or fur.
  • Insect Repellent: Product applied to skin, clothing or surfaces to keep insects away.
  • Infected: When germs get inside of a body, animal, or an organism.
  • Parasite: A parasite is an organism that lives on or inside another organism, called a host. Parasites can cause diseases in humans or animals

Species Affected

Learn About Other Diseases

Click below to learn more about the many different diseases that can spread between animals and humans.