Tick bite fever: Another strange illness to add to my Peace Corps service

I have not been very sick during my service, but when it happens, it has not been a normal cold or stomach bug. 

I’ve had food poisoning a few times and a horrible bout of salmonella. I’ve had a chest cold that needed an inhaler. And then I had a rather symptom-less turn with tick bite fever. 


The scar from the first tick bite.

The first round was fever-less, with only one day of oozing puss. So, of course, I had to get an extremely virulent version a month later. 


Round two: The bite three days old and about two hours before symptoms began.

The second bite is on my right ankle. I’d been keeping an eye on it because I wasn’t sure what it was. By this past Friday morning, I was pretty sure it was a tick bite. Halfway through eating lunch I became clammy and nauseous. Luckily, I was at our training center helping out, and I was able to get a ride to the office and see the PCMO before the office closed. 

I spent my first night in the med hut on Friday and gingerly made my way home on Saturday afternoon. I’ve spent many hours since then sleeping, wishing I could sleep through the ever-blaring loud music my host brothers play, reading, and watching movies. 
I haven’t had the fever associated with the tick bite; instead, I’ve had a raging head ache only somewhat reduced by medication. My bite has grown in size, and fortunately reduced in pain. 


The bite on day six.

My little bhuti helped me with a translation so I could describe my illness in siSwati. Today, when talking about the likhatane that bit me with one of my older host brothers, babe chimed in saying he was concerned and that he would spray a pesticide this week on the tall grass between the homestead and the road. 

I look forward to trimmed grass and this being over! 

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4 Responses to Tick bite fever: Another strange illness to add to my Peace Corps service

  1. Aunt Janette says:

    Praying for you Alison. It looks so painful and infected. Take care of yourself.

  2. It hurts just to look at it. Glad you recovered & hope you don’t get bitten again!

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