A warm winter is showing its downside in the form of insect-borne diseases in Tennessee. The Department of Health has identified 74 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever statewide this year.
That's three times the rate the disease was found last year during the same time span. Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. John Dunn tells The Tennessean the disease can be fatal, but is treatable when detected early. Health officials urge people to check themselves frequently for ticks, use insecticide and be aware of symptoms like fever, joint pain and a rash.