Rocky Mountain spotted warning issued for border states | KOB 4
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Rocky Mountain spotted warning issued for border states

Eddie Garcia
August 23, 2018 07:12 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An outbreak of Rocky Mountain Spotted fever in Mexicali, Baja California is causing health professional and scientists to warn southern border states about the disease and its carrier, the brown dog tick.

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Mark DiMenna, deputy director of the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, said New Mexicans need to be on alert, even though the disease isn't common in the state.

In fact, the New Mexico Health Department reports that there were only three cases in 2017.

"It's not unheard of, we definitely have the prevalence of the brown dog tick vector here, so we have the right conditions for it," said DiMenna.

The Bosque and unkept yards are examples of natural homes for the tick.

"Those brown dog ticks can readily infest wooded spots, they like to be on the grass. When a dog comes through they can get on the dog and they can bring them inside," said DiMenna

DiMenna says the early symptoms include fever, nausea, and headache.

"What really sets it apart and gives it its name is that four days into it, they'll develop a pretty severe rash," said DiMenna.

Left untreated, it can lead to death.

Diligent prevention is the best way to avoid getting sick.

"We tell people year-round flea and tick control. Other than maintaining property, trying to make sure it's not viable for ticks, if anybody spots ticks around their dogs or around their home that's something they want to address immediately," said DiMenna.

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Eddie Garcia

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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