Deadly Tick Disease Confirmed in Northwest Missouri

Published 05/06 2014 05:49PM

Updated 05/08 2014 10:56AM

(SAVANNAH, Mo.) If you or your pets are exposed to ticks, there's a rare and deadly tick disease that is now in our area. Doctors say the disease is so dangerous it could leave you paralyzed.

Angels Vet Express says a dog recently tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  Experts say both pets and humans should be aware of the disease.

"Missouri is one of the states even though the name is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It's not found just in the Rocky's. It's found on the east coast and now here in the mid-west," stated Stacey Hoffman, a veterinarian at Angels Vet Express.

The disease can only be transferred directly from a tick bite and could be fatal. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache and muscle pain followed by a rash.
The best way to prevent a bite is to apply a tick prevention.

"Preventing the tick from attaching should do it from preventing the transmission. Every three to four weeks should be good depending on how severe infected the area is that they live in," added Hoffman.

Karen Howerton says she brings her dogs to the vet often to make sure their healthy. She says she'll take extra steps to keep them safe now that she knows the disease is in the area.

"When they come in from playing outside, I kind of run my hands over them and look mainly under their legs and ears just to make sure nobody didn't hitch a ride inside," added Howerton.

Veterinarians say even if you do remove the tick at home, it's still important to bring them in to have them checked for the disease.

In humans, doctors say most of the reported cases have been in children. The majority of cases occur in the spring and summer.

To learn more about the disease, click here.

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