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Officials: Central Oregon a hot spot for Colorado tick fever

Western black-legged tick (or deer tick). Public Health Image Library

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Central Oregon has seen at least four confirmed cases and one suspected case of Colorado tick fever in just more than a month.

The Bend Bulletin reports the Oregon Health Authority says eight of the 11 confirmed cases of the viral disease statewide since 2011 have been Deschutes County residents.

Four of the recent cases involved Deschutes County residents, while the fifth was a resident of Jefferson County.

Colorado tick fever is a sometimes painful but rarely fatal tick-borne virus usually diagnosed in only one or two Oregonians per year.

In rare cases, the infection has led to viral meningitis or encephalitis, and pregnant women can be at risk for spontaneous abortions or birth defects.

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Information from: The Bulletin

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