SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A San Diego mother is hoping her sharing a photo will make others think twice before going to a pumpkin patch in shorts and sandals.
When 27-year-old Jennifer Velasquez went to the doctor, they diagnosed her with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, she shared in a Facebook post.
Velasquez suspects she contracted it after being bitten by a tick when she was not covered up enough at a pumpkin patch.
Her post reads, "After seeing all the cute pictures of families at the pumpkin patches, this is a reminder for everyone, When you go to these pumpkin patches and petting zoos and all those fun fall activities, wear pants, long socks and shoes! Make sure you check for tics! This was me 2 years ago after being bit by a tick and contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever at a pumpkin patch. I Couldn't walk, my whole body was in pain, my hair fell out, and I almost died. I'm still healing from all this. Don't be dumb and wear flip flops like me. CHECK FOR TICKS!
No, I'm not saying don't go to a pumpkin patch. Just be sure to cover up when you go, use repellent, and do a tick check when you get home. To my fellow southern Californians, I know its in the 80s and 90s but better to be safe than sorry. Tick borne illnesses have exploded recently in southern California despite being told we don't have ticks out here."
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial disease spread through the bite of an infected tick. Most people who get sick with RMSF will have a fever, headache, and rash. RMSF can be deadly if not treated early with the right antibiotic, according to the CDC.