COLBERT, Okla. (KXII) - A Colbert woman contracted a very rare tick-transmitted infectious disease called Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a couple months ago.
Connie Teeters has lived in Colbert for three years. A couple months ago, she took her dog for a walk in town and was bit by a tick.
"I noticed a tick on me, took it off, I didn't think anyhing of it," Teeters said. "I felt okay."
A few days later, she said things seemed a little off. She felt feverish, nauseous, and had severe headaches. She also saw red bumps forming near the tick bite on her upper leg and down both her legs to her feet.
"You think, maybe it's the new detergent or something," she said.
She didn't know if the tick bite had anything to do with it. So two weeks ago, she went to a doctor in Madill to find out.
"I told him about the tick bite and he said lets run tests just to make sure," Teeters said. "I was thinking Lyme Disease. They called me back and said it's Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and I'm like, 'What is that?!'"
According to the CDC, it's classified as very rare. The Oklahoma State Health Department said there were 124 reported cases in Oklahoma in 2016.
"If you're bitten by a tick and develop a fever and and a rash, you need to be very concerned," said Dr. Terry Gerard, an ER doctor at Alliance Health in Durant. "It's actually one of the more lethal tick bite diseases."
Gerard said three to five percent of the time, the disease can be fatal. But he said prevention is key. People should wear bug repellent and long pants when they're hunting or out in the woods, he said.
"It can be a very serious Illness," Gerard said. "If you wait too long, it increases the mortality rate."
Teeters said she wants people to be aware tick bites and tick-transmitted diseases can be found anywhere, and contracted by anyone.
"I didn't think its something you can get from just walking your dog, you know?"
More signs and symptoms can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/index.html