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Multiple People In California Die From Tickborne Disease, CDC Warns

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An outbreak of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in southern California has led to three deaths, with five reported cases all involving individuals who had recently traveled to or lived in the city of Tecate in Mexico.

The disease is transmitted by infected ticks and is endemic in several northern Mexico states bordering the U.S.

The CDC advises health care providers to consider RMSF when evaluating patients with fever who have recently been in northern Mexico and recommends immediate medical attention for those experiencing symptoms. (Trending: US State Unveils Controversial ‘Gender Neutral’ Laws)

The disease is often fatal if not treated early, with a fatality rate greater than 40% in Mexico, particularly affecting young children.

Precautionary measures include treating dogs with insect repellent and checking for ticks after outdoor activities.

RMSF is a “severe, rapidly progressive and often deadly disease transmitted by the bite of infected ticks,” the CDC stated.

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, said, “What’s most interesting about these cases is that they are occurring in Mexico, and I do worry that with our porous borders, these ticks carrying disease could cross [into the U.S.] with migrants.”

“I look for it whenever I am on the lookout for tick-borne diseases, but it is a different tick than Lyme,” said Siegel.

“The dog tick is larger and lacks the characteristic white spot of deer ticks.”

“The problem is that symptoms are flu-like and somewhat generic, so it can be easily missed,” Siegel warned.

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