Child diagnosed with tick borne illness in Cass County

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CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health officials say they’ve confirmed the first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever contracted in the state since 2009.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that the case involved a child in southwestern Michigan’s Cass County.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by bacteria and can be fatal if not treated promptly and correctly, even in previously healthy people. Symptoms typically include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. A rash may develop a few days later.

The state says the best means of protection is to prevent tick bites. Anyone with possible symptoms should contact a doctor immediately.

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