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Ticks with Rocky Mountain spotted fever found in 2 Louisville ZIP codes

The ticks were detected in the ZIP codes of 40229 and 40223.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ticks infected with Rickettsia bacteria, an agent for Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSP) has been found in Louisville. 

RMSP is transmitted through a tick bite and can be severe if not treated early. Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, and rash. 

The bacteria, which was found in local Lone Star ticks, have been detected in the ZIP codes of 40229 and 40223.

Metro Public Health and Wellness advise residents to know where to expect ticks, treat clothes and gear for ticks and to use insect repellent while outside.

Additionally, residents should check clothing for ticks, examine pets for ticks and to shower soon after being outdoors. Tick bites can happen to any exposed skin but Metro Public Health and Wellness said under the arms, in and around the ears, inside belly button, back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs and around the waist are common places for bites.

No human cases of RMSP were reported in Louisville so far this year. There was one confirmed case in 2020 and one in 2018.

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