Fatal Tick-Borne Illness Strikes in Central Illinois: Swelling of Eyes Among Alarming Symptoms

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Central Illinois РA recent confirmation of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) in Central Illinois has prompted urgent warnings from health officials due to the disease’s potentially fatal consequences. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) is strongly advising the community to be proactive in tick prevention and vigilance.

According to CUPHD, RMSF, a deadly disease transmitted by the American dog tick, can escalate quickly if untreated, leading to high fever, severe headaches, and muscle soreness. A characteristic rash along with swelling around the eyes and back of the hands may develop shortly after the initial symptoms, signaling the need for immediate medical attention to prevent potentially fatal outcomes.

The health district stresses the importance of using EPA-registered insect repellents, conducting thorough body checks after outdoor activities, and seeking prompt medical care if symptoms of RMSF appear. The Illinois Department of Public Health has intensified efforts to track and report tick activity through a new tick surveillance map, developed in collaboration with the Illinois Natural History Survey, to help the public stay informed and safe from this severe tick-borne disease.

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