After catching a life-threatening tick bite, a Californian mom is hoping to warn and prevent others from contracting the infectious disease.
Jennifer Velasquez, who lives in San Diego, visited a pumpkin patch with her children two years ago. Following their visit, Jennifer’s leg was completely covered in a severe red rash, which she posted an image of to her social media.
Alongside the photo, Jennifer wrote in the caption: ‘After seeing all the cute pictures of families at the pumpkin patches, this is a reminder for everyone, when you go to these pumpkin patches and petting zoos and all those fun fall activities, wear pants, long socks and shoes!’
The rash was a result of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever and suffered other several side effects for months and years following after having picked up the debilitating tick-borne illness.
‘I couldn’t walk, my whole body was in pain, my hair fell out, and I almost died. I’m still healing from all this. Don’t be dumb and wear flip-flops like me. CHECK FOR TICKS!’
With the festive period fast approaching, she continued her comments by stating, ‘I’m not saying don’t go to a pumpkin patch … Just be sure to cover up when you go, use repellent, and do a tick check when you get home. To my fellow southern Californians, I know its in the 80s and 90s but better to be safe than sorry.’
Jennifer is not wrong for spreading awareness since, according to KFOR, in the United States, Oklahoma has had the most reported cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in recent years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, ticks mostly flock to ‘grassy’ or ‘wooded areas’ and, symptoms for the disease are, fever, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and muscle pain.
The CDC suggests that everyone: ‘Treat clothing and gear with products containing permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.’