Woman Had All 4 Limbs Amputated After Tick Bite

Photo: FLPA/ Hugh Clark/ REX Shutterstock.
Coming from the Horrifying News Department this week, CNN reports that a woman has had to have all four of her limbs amputated following a tick bite. And no, lyme disease wasn't the culprit here.

Jo Rogers, a 40-year-old mother of two, was vacationing in northeastern Oklahoma earlier this summer when (it appears) she was bitten by a tick. On July 9, she went to the hospital with symptoms similar to those of a severe flu; shortly after, she went into septic shock.

After Rogers was tested for everything from West Nile Virus to meningitis, doctors confirmed she had developed an extreme form of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). While the doctors were able to save her life, it was at the cost of her limbs (where the infection had spread). Both of Rogers' arms were amputated mid-forearm, her right leg was removed mid-thigh, and her left leg was amputated below the knee.

It doesn't end there: "Last Friday it was found that [Rogers] has a blood clot in her lung, more infection in her blood, and [her doctors] are fighting the possibility of pneumonia," writes Rogers' cousin, Lisa James Morgan, on a Gofundme page set up to help with hospital bills and prostheses. "She is still on a ventilator and being kept sedated to help with pain."

The disease is caused by the R. rickettsii bacteria and is usually transmitted through tick bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While cases of RMSF have been reported in most states, Oklahoma is one of five states that account for over 60% of all cases. Although RMSF infections affect over 1,000 people every year in the U.S., they are usually treatable with antibiotics if caught within a few days. Which makes cases like Rogers' exceedingly rare and devastating.

Maybe we can all take this as an opportunity to remind ourselves how to prevent tick bites and get rid of those nasty little bugs — especially the ones that make us allergic to steak.

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