What to know about the tick-borne illness that killed a 2-year-o - KCTV5

What to know about the tick-borne illness that killed a 2-year-old

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File photo. (Via CNN) File photo. (Via CNN)

The devastating story of a little girl who died from a tick-borne illness has gone viral and frightened a lot of parents. 

It turns out, the same illness that caused her death is here in the Kansas City area. However, there is a cure if you catch it.

Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System are well aware of the illnesses caused by tick bites and they're always watching for them.

"One of the things we have around here is Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis,” said Dr. Dana Hawkinson. “Those are the two main major tick-borne illnesses around this area."

This time of year so many people worry about Lyme disease, but they actually have a very low incidence of it here. It's mainly north and east.

However, there are several cases a year of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in this area, which is what caused the death of that 2-year-old girl in Indiana. 

If it'd been caught earlier, there's a good chance she would've survived. There’s a medication that cures it.

“Because it is a lifesaving medicine, even children should be getting the doxycycline if Rocky Mountain fever is diagnosed or suspected,” the doctor said.

Rocky Mountain mimics other illnesses with its symptoms of a fever, joint pain and a headache. In most people, however, a rash develops. That's what you need to be on the lookout for. If you've had those symptoms and then develop a rash, be sure to call your doctor.

For more information on how to protect yourself from ticks during the summer months, click here.

Related: Tick-borne disease suspected in 2-year-old's death

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