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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Doctors Seeing An Increase In Tickbourne Infections

With the summer being so hot, more bugs and insects are buzzing around the River Valley. Dr. Chans Nouansavane, who works at Cornerstone Family Clinic in Van Bu...

With the summer being so hot, more bugs and insects are buzzing around the River Valley.

Dr. Chans Nouansavane, who works at Cornerstone Family Clinic in Van Buren, said more patients are coming in to his office with tick-borne infections as a result.

In particular, Dr. Nouansavane said he's seen an increase this year in Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Both of these infections are caused after a tick bites you and transmits the bacteria into your body.

"Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is potentially lethal, but a curable type of tick-borne illness. It's mostly transmitted through the American Dog Tick which is bigger than the deer ticks that transmit Lyme Disease," said Dr. Nouansavane.

Jaime Goswick, who lives in Mountainburg, is currently recovering from Rocky Mountain Tick Fever. 

Goswick thought she had come down with a summer cold earlier this week. She began taking over the counter cold medicine and spent two days in bed. The next morning she woke up and decided it was time to go to the emergency room.

"Everything hurt. And so bad. I had pain in my legs, my arms, my back, my shoulders...and a splitting headache," explained Goswick.

Doctors prescribed Goswick an antibiotic that will help her feel better in one to two weeks. Until then, they told her just to rest in bed, and drink plenty of water.

To make sure she doesn't get bitten by a tick again, doctors told her to apply bug spray anytime she goes into a wooded area.

Mike Gibbs at the Tackle Box suggests checking for ticks when you return from outings.

"If you go into the deep woods, it's almost impossible and what I strongly suggest is after being exposed in the woods, go through and do a tick check," said Gibbs.

Goswick says she plans to apply bug spray every time she heads outside, and will be checking for ticks when she gets home. 

For more information about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, visit the CDC's website. There you can find information about symptoms, treatment and preventative measures.