Missourians Warned About Tick-Borne Disease

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Tick-Borne Disease

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State public health officials are urging Missourians to protect themselves from tick bites following the recent death of a Northeast Missouri child from a tick-borne disease.

The child, who became ill after apparently being bitten by a tick, received intensive medical care but died May 23, about 10 days after symptoms initially appeared. Tests performed at St. Louis Children's Hospital indicate the child was infected with Ehrlichia chaffeensis, a disease related to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, according to State Public Health Veterinarian Howard Pue, D.V.M.

"Serious complications from ehrlichiosis are rare, but a death like this - of an otherwise healthy child - is a solemn reminder of the importance of avoiding tick bites to reduce the risk of getting a tick-borne disease," Pue said.

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