America poised for outbreak of deadly tick fever: Aggressive virus that’s wreaking havoc in Mexico is moving up towards the border, doctors say

Thursday, August 16, 2018
By Paul Martin

An epidemic of Rocky Mountain spotted fever has been spreading in a town along the US-Mexico border since 2008
The condition is a bacterial infection that can lead to the amputation of limbs, hearing loss, paralysis and death when left untreated
RMSF has been increasing in rates recently due to a different tick species that lives on domesticated animals and is more likely to bite people

By MARY KEKATOS
DAILYMAIL.COM
16 August 2018

A new tick is causing a deadly fever in Mexico and is now heading towards the US, scientists have warned.

In a report published on Wednesday, researchers said the infection, known as Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), is causing uncontrollable versions of the infections in people living south of the border.

RMSF is already dangerous enough because it can lead to hearing loss, paralysis and even limb amputation when left untreated.

While it is usually spread by two similarly related ticks, an unrelated species called the brown dog tick – one that is more likely to bite people – has been the cause behind the recent epidemic.

The infection has been seen in the US before, but scientists say that this recent epidemic in Mexico has seen higher viral loads in those infected, which could cause a devastating outbreak if it makes its way to America.

RMSF is a bacterial infection that is spread through tick bites, usually from the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick.

Signs and symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

There are approximately 3,000 cases reported every year in the US with 60 percent of reported RMSF cases occurring in five states: Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

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