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Howell County health leaders report uptick in tick-borne illnesses

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - Howell County health leaders report an an increase in illnesses from ticks.

While most tick bites cause mild itching, others may lead to very serious problems. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis are the most common types of tick fever in the Ozarks. A more rare one is called Alpha Gal, which makes people allergic to red meat and other animal by-products.

“I would start to feel my throat closing, and I would start to have hives going down my neck and chest, and I would get very short of breath, my voice would change, and I would, my blood pressure would drop and my heart rate would go, you know, way high,” said Dr. Sonia Gerlick of the Ozark Medical Center.

If you do find some ticks the Missouri Department of Conservation asks you to send them in a Ziplock bag, so they can study them and do research on tick-borne illnesses. You want to mail them back with a sample submission form which you can find, print, and fill out by clicking HERE.

Mail the sample in an envelope to:

A.T. Still University

ATTENTION: Deb Hudman -- Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology

800 W. Jefferson St., Kirksville MO 63501.

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