Kentucky 2-Year-Old Falls Into Coma After Tick Bite, Report Says

June 3, 2019 Updated: June 3, 2019

A 2-year-old boy reportedly slipped into a coma after catching Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can be carried by ticks.

Kentucky mother Kayla Oblisk said her son, Jackson, contracted the rare illness after the tick bite, WHAS-TV reported.

“They just pulled it off and moved right on,” Oblisk told the news outlet on May 31. “We didn’t think anything else of it at that point.”

She said the family didn’t worry about it, but they then noticed Jackson began suffering from a fever.

Later, the boy began to develop pink spots all over his body, and Oblisk then took him to a doctor, according to the report.

“My kid wouldn’t get up, he wouldn’t eat he wouldn’t drink, he was running a 105 degree fever,” she told the station. “We couldn’t get him to do anything, if you touched him he screamed.”

Someone mentioned to her that the boy might have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but she noted that she couldn’t believe it due to how rare the disease is.

WHAS reported that the chance of being bitten by a tick with the bacteria is about one in 20,000.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by the American dog tick in the Eastern, Central, and Western United States. Dog ticks do not transmit Lyme disease like deer ticks or lone star ticks.

A photo shows the American dog tick or wood tick (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.)

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever “cases have been reported throughout the contiguous United States, although five states (North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri) account for over 60 percent” of the diagnoses, the CDC says on its website.

Jackson was in a coma for about a week before he woke up on May 31, which was his birthday, WHAS reported.

“I’m so glad that as a parent I said to myself, ‘Ya know something isn’t right,’ and followed it,” Oblisk said. “Just celebrating the fact that we are almost positive that he is going to be okay.”

Jackson’s family started a GoFundMe for the child’s hospital bills. “Guys, Jackson has already passed his out of pocket maximum of $12,500 in the past 4 days. Help his parents out any way you can whether you can or cant donate please share,” the page says.

CDC Shares Warning

The CDC’s infamous poppy seed muffin photo is once again circulating on social media after the federal agency re-posted it to warn people as the weather becomes warmer about the dangers of tick bites.

The CDC first posted the photo last year, asking people whether they were able to spot the little critters embedded on the muffin. The post generated a lot of attention with people both criticizing and thanking the agency for raising awareness about the dangers of ticks. As a result, the CDC even apologized for ruining people’s appetites.

“Sorry we ticked some of you off! Don’t let a tick bite ruin your summer. Protect yourself,” they wrote around same time last year.

Epoch Times reporter Janita Kan contributed to this report.

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