Girl's death prompts tick safety this summer


TYLER (KYTX) - Along with the arrival of summer comes the threat of ticks and the sicknesses that some of them can carry.

A North Carolina family is mourning the loss of their six-year-old girl. She died after doctors say she got rocky mountain spotted fever- probably from a tick- while on vacation in Texas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of rocky mountain spotted fever cases from ticks are reported in June and July.

"Now I am concerned because I'm thinking like-what if- we're outside all the time and you know, kind of afraid now to go out."

Sonia Flores is a mother of three girls. She says they all enjoy spending time on the lake and at the park.

"We like to be outside."

But now, she says she's going to be more watchful about what little creatures they may be bringing into the house.

"I'm going to do that when we get home and, you know, make sure that they don't have anything because it scares me."

That's what Dr. William Moore recommends.

"Scan your kids because they might not notice under the hairline if there's a tick. So, just kind of check them over real good."

Dr. Moore is the medical director of ETMC EMS.

"Growing up on a farm, I pulled more ticks off than I can count." he says. 

He says, if you spot a tick on you, your pet, or your child, get it out of the skin immediately. You can use your fingers or tweezers.

"You need to get under it enough that you get the entire head and body all at once if you can."

Then, make sure to clean that area.

"And, remember, the skin has been violated. And, that tick was probably crawling on the soil. So, you could have also just been exposed to tetanus and didn't know it."

He recommends getting a tetanus booster if you haven't gotten a shot in the last five years.

"We want to enjoy the summer," says Flores, "but we want to be safe too."

There are several varieties of ticks. Dr. Moore says the sicknesses they can carry often bring on the same symptoms as the flu- aching, chills, and fever.

The biggest difference is there's probably going to be some sort of rash on your skin. If you see that, and you're not getting better, call a doctor.


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