La Crosse County woman dies from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

A La Crosse County resident has died due to a disease spread from a tick bite.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and La Crosse County Health Department said that it is the first documented death from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) in the state. 

The victim was identified as a La Crosse County woman in her 50s according to the La Crosse County Health Department. Based on their interviews, the woman was likely bitten while she was camping. She had La Crosse and other surrounding counties. 

The disease is rare in the state according to health officials.  DHS said that it is spread by the bite of an American dog (or wood) tick. They said early symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, and stomach pain. 

Untreated, an infection from RMSF can quickly develop into a serious illness.

DHS recommends that people take steps to protect themselves from ticks including: 

  • Use an insect repellent with at least 20% DEET or another EPA-registered repellent according to the label instructions.
  • Use 0.5% permethrin products on clothing, socks, and shoes according to label instructions.
  • Stay on trails and avoid walking through tall grasses and brush.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants to avoid ticks crawling under clothing.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after being outdoors.
  • Take a shower as soon as possible after coming in from outdoors.
  • Place clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks on clothing.
  • Use a veterinarian-prescribed tick prevention treatment on pets.

Lyme disease is the most common type of disease spread by ticks in Wisconsin according to DHS. Others include anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Powassan virus. 

DHS said that most diseases spread by ticks can be treated with antibiotics if caught early. People are urged to see a health professional if symptoms develop after a tick bite or possible tick exposure. 

adwpadmin

adwpadmin

More News

STORMTRACKER 19 WEATHER

La Crosse
69°
Winona
Decorah
Whitehall
Prairie Du Chien
Tomah
Rochester
65°
A return to raincoat and umbrella weather…

A return to raincoat and umbrella weather…

Keep your umbrellas at the ready as you head out the door at lunch time, especially in the late morning

Connect With WXOW
Top Stories

Motorcyclists, first responders bring Black River Falls firefighter home

Black River Falls, WI (WXOW) — It has been five days since the Black River Falls Fire Department announced the

Jefferson Award Winner says son with rare genetic disease made her a better person

A La Crosse woman says providing son with quality of life is at the heart of her mission.

Wisconsin Gubernatorial candidates talk transportation

It's 43 days until the November election and candidates for Wisconsin governor stopped in La Crosse Monday to speak at

Mayor and city leaders refocus on La Crosse Center Expansion Project

Members of the La Crosse Center Board and City Common Council met to hit the reset button and regroup for

Family-owned cranberry farm shares passion through tours

October is peak harvesting season for cranberries.

Scroll to top
Skip to content