ST. LOUIS — Check for ticks if you are spending a portion of the holiday weekend outside.
An incoming Mizzou freshman recently celebrated his high school graduation by camping with friends.
It wasn’t until Sam Rosen returned home when he realized he brought back a few unwanted friends.
"Wow I had a lot of ticks, so I pulled them all off, but it was too late I guess," Rosen said.
Rosen felt fine for a few weeks but then one day he became ill with what he thought was a common fever.
"Body aches pretty much everywhere, a lot of rashes," Rosen said.
But it was worse than he feared, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He spent the next couple of days at Children’s Hospital recovering
"If you were going on the trip tomorrow what would you do?"
"I would wear a lot of bug spray and I wore about none," the Ladue High School graduate said.
"Wear long light-colored clothing if possible, wear tick repellent, wear a hat because ticks can fall from the air," Dr. Rachel Orscheln, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital said.
The proper way to remove a tick is by gently grabbing its head with tweezers and pulling it out.
“You don’t want to burn a tick or apply anything noxious to a tick because then it can facilitate transferring the infection,” Dr. Orscheln said.
Very few ticks carry infectious diseases, according to Dr. Orscheln
Sam said he’s going to be more cautious next camping trip.
"Check every night for ticks,” Rosen said.
“If you get them out right when they get you there's a much lower chance you get a disease from them.”
Ticks can also latch onto pets. Check your animals at home to make sure they aren’t bringing in ticks that could make your family sick.