2-year-old dies after suspected tick bite

Family Says Girl, 2, Died After Tick Bite

WISH reports Kenley Ratliff was taken to an emergency room twice for strep throat and released.

It wasn't until another antibiotic was administered and those pink rashes turned dark purple-red that doctors at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis thought Kenley might have Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

"This little angel" will save many other lives, 2-year-old Kenley Ratliff's grandmother, Rhonda Conn, wrote on a GoFundMe page that the family set up to help pay for hospital bills when the little girl first became sick.

Kirby says the doctors were treating what they finally diagnosed as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as best they could.

Ratliff's mother, through Kirby, wanted to warn other families to always check for ticks not only on their children but also their pets at home.

Kenley's family said the toddler loved to play outside, and relatives had no idea where she may have picked up a tick. "It's a mother's nightmare, a father's nightmare", said Kirby.

Kenley spent most of her young life wearing a huge smile and sharing a bright presence. Tests are expected to confirm within two weeks whether Kenley died from Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

"As teachers, we want to make sure we are more aware of checking them especially days like this where go to the park", Bell said.

A deadly bite may be to blame for a central IN toddler going from perfectly healthy to dangerously sick, IN just one week.

As tick populations swell this summer, parents grow increasingly anxious about Lyme disease, a risky infection spread by the blood-sucking parasites.

Kenley's death comes amid numerous alerts from health departments across the Midwest warning of tickborne illnesses, particularly as warm weather approaches. "At this time of year, "Fight the Bite" strategies are essential in reducing risk of infection and in preventing the potential spread of disease in communities".

According to the Centers for Disease Control, you have fever, headache, stomach pain, vomiting and muscle pain. The most effective treatment is receiving the antibiotic doxycycline within five days after symptoms appear, CNN reported.

Authorities recommend wearing long trousers and long sleeves when walking in wooded and grassy areas.

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