Infected brown dog ticks are ravaging two Arizona Indian Tribes, CDC

A new study states that an epidemic of Rocky Mountain spotted fever affecting a number of Native American tribes at two reservations within Arizona has costed the society more than $13 million in nine years.

However, that amount only takes a look at damages and health costs without looking into long-term expenditures caused by disability and medical procedures, according Indian Health Services, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the affected Indian tribes.

What cases Ricky Mountain Spotted Fever? The disease itself is cause by Rickettsia rickettsii whose main means of infection is through infected ticks. Another scary part of the disease is that the brown dog tick, a tick usually found in untreated domesticated animals such as cats and dogs is a carrier for the disease.

The disease is quite devastating, with each death from the disease costing more than $775,000. Another sad fact is that most of the victims of the disease are children, according to study authors.

There are tribal run tick control plans that hope to curb the spread of tics and antibiotics do exist for the disease.

Naomi Drexler, CDC epidemiologist and one of the study authors, said in a press release that “Rocky Mountain spotted fever is completely preventable.”




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