Pa. child dies of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

    A central Pennsylvania child has died of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, an illness carried by dog ticks but rarely found in Pennsylvania.

    Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick tells Pennlive it’s the first case he’s seen since taking office nearly 25 years ago.

    The young child lived in the Harrisburg area. The child’s name was not released.

    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is rarely fatal, although it’s critical to begin antibiotics within a few days of onset. North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas account for 60 percent of cases. Early symptoms include fever, headache and muscle pain.

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    The Pennsylvania Health Department says there were 16 probable cases last year.

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