Distraught family of girl who died: 'Check for ticks'

An Indiana family is reeling after their 2-year-old daughter suffered a brain infection and later died after doctors say she was bitten by a tick.

Kenley Ratliff was stricken with a high fever, swollen hands and an ugly rash all over her body, according to a GoFundMe page established to help with medical and funeral bills.

The child was placed on a ventilator and was hospitalized for several days before medical staff removed the breathing device at about 3 a.m. Saturday, a family member wrote on the fundraising site.

Doctors suspect Kenley contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever through a bite, the relative said. The family is now dedicated to spreading awareness about the bacterial infection.

Kenley’s family said the toddler loved to play outside, and relatives had no idea where she may have picked up a tick. Doctors recommend that parents closely check their children after they’ve been outside.

It takes up to two weeks for symptoms to develop from tick-borne diseases. Most often they are rashes, fever, headache and nausea.