The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a travel advisory for Mexico Friday, citing “reports” of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
“There have been reports of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in people traveling to the United States from Tecate, in the state of Baja California, Mexico,” the CDC said in its advisory.
The CDC said the disease has been found in “urban areas” in some states in northern Mexico like Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Nuevo León, but is “not exclusive” to them. The agency also noted “ticks spread the bacteria” that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever and that dogs can carry those ticks, but the disease is not spread from person to person.
The agency said people can protect themselves from the disease by using insect repellents, checking for ticks on one’s body and clothing, using tick-preventatives on dogs when traveling with them and getting medical attention if you or a family member “has traveled to Tecate or another city in northern Mexico and develops symptoms during travel or within 2 weeks of returning to the United States.”
The disease has symptoms like fever, headache and rash, according to the CDC. The agency said that rash can appear two to four days “after onset of symptoms, however, some patients never develop a rash.”
“The disease can rapidly progress and be deadly if not treated early with the recommended antibiotic,” the CDC said. “Children younger than 10 years old are five times more likely than adults to die from RMSF.”