GREENSBORO, N.C. — Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It's a nasty disease that comes from ticks and can even be deadly. The disease has spread in several states, including North Carolina.

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It's one of the only widespread tickborne diseases here. Avoiding the disease can be easy, but you've got to be proactive.

Bugs can pass along several types of "spotted fevers." Rocky Mountain is the most dangerous. It's deadly 20% of the time if you don't treat it. That's 1 in 5. Victims can be left with severe and permanent problems like hearing loss, paralysis and mental disability. 

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Kids and older adults are especially vulnerable. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of the disease are not very specific. There are things like a fever, a headache, and muscle pain. Nausea and vomiting are possible and a rash occurs in most cases but after a few days of symptoms. 

So try to think about it like this. If you go to the doctor about the flu you could have RMSF. So tell your doctor about any outdoor activity you've had.

The best way to protect yourself is to use insect repellent with DEET. Here's a quick guide and some of Consumer Reports recommendations in the link below. 

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