Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

Doctors believe tick bite led to two-year-old girl's death

Doctors believe tick bite led to two-year-old girl's death

Family and friends of a 2-year-old girl who died are hoping to raise awareness for tick born diseases.

When Kenley started suffering from a high fever she was immediately taken to emergency rooms twice and was diagnosed with strep throat.

Before she died, Kenley's skin was covered in a rash, one that her family was told may have been caused by Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. "She had a 104-degree fever and that fever remained about a 103.8 all week long", Nichol recalled.

"Her mother and father cannot believe that she is gone that their baby girl is gone now", said Nichol Kirby, a family friend.

After doing blood tests it was found she was suffering from fever due to tick bite on Rocky Mountain.

Kenley's mother, according to Kirby, just wants to get the message out there to other families to always check for ticks. But her symptoms continued to worsen and doctors there were unable to stop the infection. "It's a mother's nightmare, a father's nightmare", said Kirby.

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The risk of getting bitten by an infected tick is higher if you're out camping or hiking in areas where there are more ticks, but he noted, "It's occurred in urban NY, too".

"I just can't believe a tiny thing can be so destructive to such a little baby that's so innocent", said Kenley's aunt Jordan Clapp. "We were expecting a miracle and we wanted to bring her home", said Kenley's Grandma Rhonda Conn.

"Everyone to be very diligent about checking their children for ticks, checking their animals for ticks making sure that those pets are treated", she said. It caused her brain to swell and failure of her internal organs and ultimately surrendered to her illness on June 3rd at 3 am. "At this time of year, "Fight the Bite" strategies are essential in reducing risk of infection and in preventing the potential spread of disease in communities".

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the disease's progression greatly varies, and patients treated right away may have quick recovery on outpatient drugs.

Symptoms include fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomitting and muscle pain. The most effective treatment is the antibiotic doxycycline, given within five days after symptoms appear.

Authorities recommend wearing long trousers and long sleeves when walking in wooded and grassy areas.

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