VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Scientists say nearly half of Gulf Coast ticks in Hampton Roads are carrying a new disease.
Jessica Crosley, 13, is one of only 15 reported cases of the disease in the U.S. She says she was in excruciating pain and experienced chills and a fever during 100-degree temperatures.
“I would scream it was so bad,” Crosley said. “I’ve never been in any pain like that. I couldn’t walk. Anything I ate I threw up.”
Crosley told her mother she found a tiny black bug while showering.
“I had never seen a tick before in my life, so I just kind of ripped it off and it was like a lady bug” Crosley said.
Crosley and her mother found a white spot that over the days turned into a large black lesion.
“It looks a lot like a disease some are familiar with called Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,”Infectious disease expert Dr. Randall Fisher at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters said.
Crosley is only the second person ever to be seen with it at CHKD.
“The difference is where the tick bites, you end up getting a little black spot of skin that eventually breaks away and leaves a shallow ulcer,” Fisher said.