Babesiosis | Symptoms


What are the symptoms of babesiosis?

Some people who have babesiosis may not have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are often similar to symptoms of the flu and include:

  • Fever (as high as 104°F)
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache

However, sometimes the illness can quickly become serious, and can even cause death, especially in people who have had their spleen removed, are elderly, have liver disease, have kidney disease or have weak immune systems (due to conditions such as the human immunodeficiency virus [HIV], acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS] and cancer). Babesiosis can affect people of all ages, but most people who get it are in their 40s or 50s.


When to Suspect and How to Monitor Babesiosis by E Mylonakis, M.D. (American Family Physician May 15, 2001,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00