Oklahomans report rash first seen in southeastern Kansas

Wednesday, September 22nd 2004, 1:27 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The state Health Department is working with Kansas health officials after reports of a rash illness by people in northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas.

County health departments in Tulsa, Ottawa and Craig counties have received reports similar to the rash first seen in Kansas.

Oklahoma health officials say the rash appears to be the result of bites from the "straw itch mite." The mite is a parasite so small it's invisible to the naked eye and floats in the breeze like dust.

State epidemiologist Sara Russell says the rash is not contagious and generally clears up in a week or two.

Health officials say oral antihistamines and anti-itch creams applied to the skin provide relief from the rash. The mites are expected to decrease or disappear after the first frost.