Health officials have warned about the threat of tick-borne illnesses after a 20-year-old from McMinnville died from a bite.
Katie Underhill died after a five-week battle with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. According to the Southern Standard, the disease was first diagnosed as the flu.
The warm winter has meant more ticks, and officials with the Metro Public Health Department have tips to keep you and your family safe and sound.
“For most people, it may cause an itchy red spot on the skin, which is fairly normal as far as tick bites go,” Brian Todd, of the health department, said. “It's the more serious flu-like illness two to five days afterwards, that's what we want people to be paying more particular attention to.”
Those symptoms have included a fever, rash, headache, nausea, abdominal and muscle pain, and reddened eyes.
It's important to know very few people who come down with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever develop all symptoms, and the number of symptoms have varied from person to person.
The illness has been easily treated with antibiotics if detected early.
The best way to avoid tick-borne diseases has been to prevent tick bites. Wear long shirts and pants in tall grass or treat your clothes with permethrin.
Also check for ticks on yourself and your pets after spending time outside.