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Child dies from tick-borne disease

Deer ticks like this one can spread disease.
Deer ticks like this one can spread disease.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A child from Northeastern Missouri died last month from a tick-borne disease.

And Missouri Public Health officials say cases of Ehrlichia chaffeensis have risen 175 percent this year.

It's similar to Rocky Mountain spotted fever and symptoms include a sudden fever, headaches, and vomiting.

Officials are not releasing much information about the child, but Karen Yates, a vector borne disease program coordinator with the state says the family did check for ticks.

What's very sad about this is that they were avid outdoor people and they did the right things as far as protecting themselves from tick bites, Yates said. They checked themselves, and apparently the tick was missed.

Yates says parents should keep children out of wooded areas. She also suggests wearing insect repellent with at least 20% DEET and light-colored clothing to easily spot ticks.

Lastly, she says checks for ticks should be very thorough.


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