Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content



Many people who are infected with Babesia microti feel fine and do not have any symptoms. Some people develop nonspecific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue.

Because Babesia parasites infect and destroy red blood cells, babesiosis can cause a special type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia can lead to jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and dark urine.

Babesiosis can be a severe, life-threatening disease, particularly in people who

  • Do not have a spleen;
  • Have a weak immune system for other reasons (such as cancer, lymphoma, or AIDS);
  • Have other serious health conditions (such as liver or kidney disease); or
  • Are elderly.

Complications of babesiosis can include

  • A low and unstable blood pressure;
  • Severe hemolytic anemia (hemolysis);
  • A very low platelet count (thrombocytopenia);
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (also known as “DIC” or consumptive coagulopathy), which can lead to blood clots and bleeding;
  • Malfunction of vital organs (such as the kidneys, lungs, and liver); or
  • Death.