HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Shelby County man is warning others about the potential dangers of tick bites after he said doctors treated him for a suspected case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Red bumps and rashes are all over Allen Morgan’s body from head to toe. There are even sores inside his mouth.
“I would hate to see anybody go through really the, I mean it hurts to drink water, I’ve had to put ointment things in my mouth so we can do the interview here,” said Morgan.
The marks and pain have remained more than a week after the former Homewood Police Officer was doing work in his Helena backyard.
“As I was sitting on this paver here is when I felt something on the side of my leg,” said Morgan.
Morgan believes he brushed off a tick, but did not think twice until the rash and bumps appeared days later.
At first, Morgan went to an urgent care center. Doctors attempted to treat the problem with steroids and other medication.
After worsening symptoms and trouble breathing, Morgan went to a hospital in Shelby County.
“The attending ER doctor and the attending physician they both consulted and felt very strongly that it was Rocky Mountain spotted fever,” said Morgan.
According to Morgan, the results of lab tests later this week could confirm the doctors’ suspicions.
The Center for Disease Control warns that peak time for ticks is in the summer.
Recommendations to prevent tick bites include pre-treating clothes, using repellent, and avoiding brushy areas.
“Now I’m thinking the shorts and t shirt sitting in the backyard probably wasn’t a good idea,” said Morgan.
It is also important to bathe and check for ticks when you or a pet comes inside.
Morgan warns to watch for symptoms like bumps, a rash, fever, or pain. Waiting too long to see a doctor can be deadly.
“There’s so many children and animals and stuff around here that it’s so easy to happen to anybody, and I just wanted to bring awareness to it so that people could potentially avoid what I am having to go through,” said Morgan.
The CDC has important tips for removing ticks here.