INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Tick-borne illnesses are once again a major concern this summer, especially after the death of a young girl in Indiana.
The 2-year-old girl's death in early June was blamed on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which is caused by a tick bite and the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia.
The Indiana health commissioner issued an alert to physicians, telling them to be on the lookout for additional cases and not rule out tick-borne diseases even if patients, especially children, have no evidence or recollection of a tick bite.
The young girl who died tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a few days before her death. She had been previously diagnosed with other conditions.
Cases have been reported all across North and South America, however, 60 percent of known exposures tend to occur in either North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas or Missouri.
Much like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is spread through ticks, specifically the American Dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Rocky Mountain Wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) and the Brown Dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).
You can read more about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever on AccuWeather.com and find additional information on the CDC's website.