Lyme disease

The social ecology of Lyme disease is related to the migration of the population in developed nations to suburban areas (see Chapter 5). It is associated with the bite of the same species of deer tick as is the vector for babesiosis, and can cause an illness that affects many systems within the body. Despite a number of researchers looking for examples of Lyme disease transmitted by transfusion, none has been found; and this is probably because it is present in blood and potentially capable of being transmitted by transfusion for only a very short period of time. There is one interesting case of an individual thought to have been positive for both Lyme disease and babesiosis whose blood donation transmitted only babesiosis but not Lyme disease (Cable et al, 1993; McQuiston et al, 2000). While transfusion-related cases have not been reported, public health agencies and the AABB are monitoring this disease because of the remote chance that it could affect transfusion safety. People with a history of Lyme disease can give blood provided they have completed a full course of antibiotic treatment and no longer have any symptoms.

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