Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Babesiosis Here

Twice a year, I do this: donate blood. And today is the day. I am never alone and am always in the company of many friends to make a trip by the bloodmobile of the Community Blood Centers of Florida worthwhile. In order to be accepted, you must be identified and must answer a long list of questions that determine your eligibility to be a safe donor. This year, one new question got all of us baffled: what the heck is Babesiosis? Do we have it? Not that I know of, mam! That turns out to be a malaria-like parasitic disease caused by infection with Babesia, a genus of protozoal piroplasms, the second most common blood parasites of mammals. In North America, the disease is primarily found in eastern Long Island, Fire Island, Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard off of the coast of Massachusetts and the northern midwestern and New England states. It is called "The Malaria of The Northeast." Now that I know what that is, I am sure I ain't got it!

It's not me in this photo. It's my friend Bruce, and that's his pint of blood that goes to help someone someday somewhere. We all feel great and we got a free fruit juice afterwards for our trouble.
Disease Free

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