The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) requested the assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an investigation of a large number of rashes characterized as apparent bug bites in several southeast Kansas counties. CDC has agreed to assist and has sent staff to southeast Kansas.
KDHE is also providing assistance and has sent epidemiologists to help with the investigation. Medical entomologists from Kansas State University have spent several days trapping insects in the region and will return to do additional trapping of insects later this week.
The rashes/bites were first reported by individuals in Crawford County during the last week of August. Several hundred people have reported the bite-like rashes in Crawford County and many have sought medical treatment. Several cases have been reported in surrounding counties including Labette, Cherokee, and Bourbon Counties, as well as in three Southwest Missouri counties (Jasper, Barton, and Vernon). KDHE is not aware of any hospitalizations associated with the rash.
The rashes have been seen on limbs, face/neck and trunk, and fever has been reported in some cases. They typically appear after individuals spend time outdoors. The rashes usually resolve after a few days. Recommended treatment includes topical application to relieve itching.
Source: Kansas Department of Health and Environment