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A 5-year-old suffered a full-body rash thanks to Rocky Mountain spotted fever — here’s what you should know about the tick-borne virus


Mason McNair shown with rash from Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Danielle McNair, a mother from Georgia, is spreading awareness about the tick-borne illness, Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
McNair’s son contracted the disease from a tick they found in his belly button.
He was initially misdiagnosed.
After doing her own research, McNair told doctors she believed Mason had Rocky Mountain spotted fever and he was given the correct antibiotics.

Although most parents know to check kids for ticks, many are unaware of the breadth of illnesses these blood-sucking arachnids can spread. This is something Georgia resident Danielle McNair has recently discovered.

McNair shared a Facebook post last week detailing her 5-year-old son Mason’s battle with Rocky Mountain spotted fever — a tick-borne infection.

In the post, McNair explained that Mason’s grandparents found a tick in his belly button. They removed it immediately, but the bite soon became infected. Mason was taken to the doctor and prescribed an antibiotic.

Everything seemed fine.

After some time, however, Mason became sicker. He developed diarrhea, abdominal pains, fatigue, and a fever. About 14-days after the initial tick bite, Mason developed a rash that covered his whole body.

Doctors tried to convince McNair that Mason’s new rash was simply a reaction to the initial antibiotics, but she wasn’t satisfied. She did some research and learned about a slew of tick-borne diseases, one of which matched all of Mason’s symptoms — Rocky Mountain spotted fever. McNair told INSIDER she had never heard of it before.

“I’ve only ever heard of Lyme disease with ticks,” she said.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is lesser known, but just as dangerous as Lyme Disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacteria disease spread by ticks; specifically the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. If not treated properly, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can result in amputations from blood vessel damage, hearing loss, paralysis, mental disability or even death.

After going back to the doctor again and expressing her hunch that Mason had contracted Rocky Mountain spotted fever, he was officially diagnosed and was given a new antibiotic — doxycycline. He is finally starting to feel better McNair said, but they are still monitoring him.

It is important to monitor all tick bites, and even keep the tick to be tested for diseases.

While not every tick bite leads to a serious sickness, it is recommended you monitor yourself or your children after removing a tick. It is also recommended that you save the tick in case you do develop a sickness. This way, it can be tested for different diseases.

Dr. Brain Fallon, director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research at Columbia University Medical Center, told NPR people should put ticks in a baggie after removal because it doesn’t need to be alive in order to be tested. He also said if you send a picture of the tick to TickEncounter Resource Center then they will be able to identify the tick and the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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