Girl dies from possible tick bite

  • Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
7:18 a.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2017 Nation & World

An Indiana girl has died after her parents and doctors believe she was bitten by a tick that was carrying Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

The disease causes a bacterial infection carried by American dog ticks Rocky Mountain wood ticks and brown dog ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Kenley Ratliff was taken to the hospital twice for strep throat recently, but after checkups in the emergency room, she was released. When a fever wouldn't come down, she was admitted last Tuesday, WISH reported.

“She had a 104 degree fever and that fever remained about 103.8 all week long up until her untimely death on Saturday morning at 2:45 a.m.,” a family friend told WISH.

She had a brain infection, swollen hands and a large rash.

Doctors believe Kenley had Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but are awaiting autopsy results to confirm their diagnosis, WISH reported.

The state health department said it had 40 cases of the disease in 2016.

Symptoms include fever, headache, upset stomach and a rash later in the illness, the CDC warns.

Kenley’s family is warning others to check for ticks so they don’t have to suffer the consequence of a bite from an infected insect.

“Everyone [needs] to be very diligent about checking their children for ticks, checking their animals for ticks,making sure that those pets are treated,” a family spokesperson told WISH.

So how can you prevent getting bitten by ticks when outside?

The CDC suggests:

Ticks are placed in a container to be analyzed at GREFA hospital on March 16, 2017 in Majadahonda, near Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
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