N. AZ visitor contracts rare tick infection

Posted at 7:50 AM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-03 10:50:23-04

National Park Service and Coconino County officials are investigating a case of a rare tick-borne bacterial infection contracted by a person who recently visited the North Rom of the Grand Canyon and adjacent areas.

Grand Canyon National Park officials say the visitor got ill with tick-borne relapsing fever after vacationing on the North Rim in mid-September and then was treated successfully with antibiotics.

According to park officials, people contract tick-borne relapsing fever after being bitten by infected soft ticks, which typically feed on rodents.

Bites from soft ticks are described as painless, brief and usually happen at night when people are asleep.

Most infections are associated with sleeping in cabins in mountainous areas where rodents are present.

Common symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches.