5-year-old LaGrange boy contracts rare, deadly disease after a tick bite

Mason with rash from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Source: Danielle McNair)
Mason with rash from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Source: Danielle McNair)
Tick (Source: CDC)
Tick (Source: CDC)

LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - "That was probably one of the scariest things that we've been through," says Danielle McNair, the mother of five-year-old Mason McNair.

It happened in early May 2018. Mason was playing in his grandparent's house in Troup County when he was bitten by a tick on his belly button.

"We get ticks all the time down here, you know it's not uncommon," says Mason's mother, Danielle McNair.

McNair says she took Mason to the doctor and he was prescribed medication just to be safe. But 10 days after that initial tick bite, Mason's condition was getting worse.

"It looked really bad, his stomach, you know he was having abdominal pain," says McNair.

Later that day, Mason broke out in a full body rash.

"At first they really didn't know, because I mean, kids get rashes," says Danielle. "The rash was so scary because it was all over him."

Doctors and NcNair discovered Mason had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a rare and deadly disease. The CDC reports three thousand cases per year in the United States. The disease is said to be caused by the bite of an infected tick.

The CDC reports death from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can take just eight days after becoming infected if not treated properly.

Symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Lack of appetite

Treatment requires taking the specific antibiotic, Doxycycline.

After treatment, Mason luckily got better.

McNair says she's thankful for the doctor's diagnosis and quick treatment for Mason.

You can learn more about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and how to prevent it here.

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