Man diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Fever

A 35-year-old Columbus man is recovering from a bout with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a rare disease passed around by ticks. Brian Aerni went through days of dizzying headaches, flu-like symptoms and a fever that reached 103 degrees. Aerni said doctors told him repeatedly it was just a virus. He spent three days in the hospital. He finally went to an infection disease specialist in Omaha and was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, initial signs and symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle pain, followed by development of rash. The disease can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and without prompt and appropriate treatment it can be fatal.
Aerni was treated with antibiotics and released Thursday. He was told it could take up to a year to fully recover.