News

Jul 11, 2018

La Crosse County Woman Dies of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever


Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes--ubiquitous in woodlands--can spread significant illnesses such as Lyme disease, Powassan virus and anaplasmosis. For the first time in Wisconsin, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a potentially fatal disease if left untreated and an illness seen mainly in the western and southern parts of the US, has killed a La Crosse woman just days afer her diagnosis in mid-June. According to reports, she was bitten by a tick in early May while camping in western Wisconsin. Although most tick-borne diseases in this region are carried by the deer tick, RMSF is carried instead by the larger, and more easily detected, wood tick. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends that while outdoors, people should use tick repellant; wear long sleeves and long pants; and use closed-toe shoes to prevent tick bites. After being outside in the woods, the DHS recommends that people shower or bathe shortly after coming inside and check their person carefully for the presence of ticks.