NEWCASTLE, Oklahoma - A Newcastle woman says a tick bite almost killed her six months ago. Incredibly, her husband also nearly suffered the same fate in May of 2018. 

Chrissie Ward still keeps the tick that gave her Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a plastic bag in a freezer. Her husband Tim Ward is a retired 30-year Oklahoma City fire department major. He also got very sick after getting bitten by a tick in May of 2018.

The Wards say they question whether the State Health Department’s official count of tick-borne illnesses is accurate.

“So, you hear it once in a blue moon,” Chrissie said. “Out of sight out of mind, and then you get bit and it will change your entire life. Nothing will be the same.” 

“I would spray Icy Hot all over my feet and body, nothing was helping. I was worse than the flu, and I’ve had the flu. I’ve hurt from the flue and this hurt so much worse,” she continued. 

State Epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed contends that state numbers may look low to some, because the number of cases they identify, versus the number of cases identified by private doctors can differ.