Rocky Mountain spotted fever increasing in southern Illinois

Cases of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever are increasing in southern Illinois, especially in Jackson, Hardin Saline and Williamson Counties. White, Hamilton, Massac, Union, Washington, and Wayne Counties have also had occasional cases. So far, a total of 28 cases were reported in the region during the 3 months of April-June. The woods and wilds of southern Illinois harbour the infected ticks, especially during the warm months between April and September.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever has been found in southern Canada, the USA, northern Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, and Argentina. It is transmitted through the bite of infected ticks. Travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to this infection by avoiding tick habitats such as woods, fields and forests whenever possible. Daily tick checks and prompt removal of an attached tick will help to reduce the risk of infection.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

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