Stamford man recovers from rare Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a rare disease in this part of the country and is caused by a tick bite.

News 12 Staff

May 7, 2024, 10:29 AM

Updated 12 days ago


A Stamford man has recovered from one of the deadliest tickborne diseases in the country - Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
The Connecticut Department of Health says a man in his 40s appears to be the only case in Connecticut so far this year.
"I started experiencing what were initially mild flu-like symptoms," said KJ Kelly from Stamford.
Kelly says in February he was getting a fever and aches and pains after going on a hike. He says after a few days he was feeling worse and his wife brought him to the emergency room at Stamford Hospital. He was later diagnosed with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, not typically seen in Connecticut.
"The good news is that it's pretty treatable once diagnosed. The challenge is in diagnosing it because it's so unusual and if it goes undiagnosed it can potentially be fatal," said Kelly.
Kelly was treated by doctors at Stamford Health with antibiotics and made a full recovery.
"It really takes an astute physician to test for it and look for it," said Dr. Asha Shah, of Stamford Health.
Doctors say it typically develops with a rash.
"Very different than the tick diseases that we see in Connecticut like Lyme where…there's a history of a bullseye rash," said Shah.
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include fever, headache, rash, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle pain and lack of appetite. Kelly knows he's lucky and wants to warn others.
"Just making sure people are aware of this and know to be on the lookout for it," said Kelly.Experts advise wearing long clothing if you're out in the woods and make sure you check yourself for ticks when you get inside.

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