Reports from the Cle Elum area confirm a Tick Borne Illness. Read about the illness here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no9/03-0280.htm
Here is the email the FS recieved
I wanted to let you know to be alert for a very rare tick borne illness that my cousin's husband and baby have come down with after a visit to my Lodge.
Both Andrea (he's my cousin's husband) and baby Caitlyn have been diagnosed at Swedish Hospital this weekend as having Tick-borne Relapsing Fever caused by the spirochete Borrelia hermsii. They are both taking massive doses of the antibiotic Doxycycline and are recovering. This was diagnosed after a battery of tests and needed to be confirmed by specialists. Everyone was thinking Lyme disease, but this is not that.
The infectious disease guy at Swedish said that he has only seen three cases of this in his career. The Kittitas County Health Department will be alerted by the King County Health Department and news will happen about this, but since this happened on our hill, I wanted you to know right away and be aware of what to look for in yourselves and visitors.
Here is an article about the disease:
The ticks these bad bugs ride around in can be microscopic--so don't think that if you haven't pulled a full sized tick off anyone that they are out of the woods. These ticks ride around on deer mice, birds, chippers and squirrels--basically, everything in your yard. The ticks latch on to these critters, and if they are not around, onto people. There is nothing to do about the great outdoors, but indoors, we need to be vigilant about the mice invading, and I plan to "bomb" my house with the stuff that gets rid of fleas, as the kill rate for that is evidently high. If I learn anything else to do from the health types, I will pass it along.
For both of them, the first symptom was a debilitating fever. The baby got to 105 degrees. Then it passes and ramps up again later. Both the baby and her dad had a rosy skin rash--his only after he began antibiotics and the spirochetes started to die. If you or your house guests feel ill, please send them to their doctor with a copy of this article--they will not be looking for this because it almost never happens. It is important to get rid of these spirochetes because they can cause many other secondary problems after people blow them off as being part of "the flu."
I was stunned by this because I have had a great many people stay at my house, even play on the floor with no ill effects, and I hope we have seen the last of this. However, this lives in Douglas Fir and Ponderosa forests and I assume that they were bitten either in my house or somewhere on our hill--so beware.