Tick season stirs early warning
By RACHEL AFFLICK
A THREE-YEAR-OLD girl from Wilsons Creek was rushed to hospital for treatment for what's believed to be a case of the dangerous tick typhus.
The illness has been described by her parents as 'a nightmare'.
Mike and Tracey Mansted's daughter Imogen was hospitalised after being bitten by a tick, and although blood tests failed to find evidence of the tick-borne disease, her parents remain convinced she contracted tick typhus.
Just days after she was bitten on August 20 Imogen developed a fever and her skin began to break out in big red spots. She was rushed to Tweed Heads Hospital and put on antibiotics.
"It was awful. She was a very sick little girl," Tracey said. "She's been running really high temperatures, her glands have been up and she's had headaches."
Doctors agreed her symptoms suggested tick typhus, but are investigating whether Imogen, who has been recovering at home, could have picked up a new strain.
"Basically nobody knows for sure," Tracey said.
According to the North Coast Area Health Service tick typhus is treated with antibiotics and is rarely fatal.
But with the tick season in full swing, people should be aware tick-borne diseases, tick paralysis and severe allergic reactions, while uncommon, can pose serious health threats.
It comes less than a year after a four-year-old Goonellabah girl had to be put on life support after being struck down by a paralysis tick.
Tick season typically runs from August to Christmas.