This week, a woman in Wisconsin died from a tick bite while camping back in May. The tick, a dog tick, was carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a pathogen that affects both humans and pets. While dog ticks turn to pets as first meal choice, they will attack humans.
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are similar to other vector diseases, such as Lyme Disease. The signs of RMSF include: rash, high fever, nausea, muscle pains, and headache. Symptoms can occur 2-14 days after a tick bite.
American dog ticks live in grassy and wooded areas. They are brown in color but have white 'veins' on their backs - not to be confused with a Lone Star Tick which has a white dot on the shell.
It's important to check yourself and pets for hidden ticks while outside for long. Carry tick remover tools during hiking and camping trips and spray tick and insect repellent around the ankles since ticks climb from the ground up.