OKLAHOMA - Have you been out hiking, fishing or working in the yard a lot lately?
Make sure you didn't come back inside with any little passengers attached to you!
Tick-borne illnesses can leave you very sick for a long time if they are not treated in a timely manner. They can even, in rare cases, be deadly.
One local doctors says she's seen a rise in cases of Rock Mountain Spotted Fever.
"It's pretty extraordinary that I've seen this many cases," said Dr. Melinda Cail.
On Facebook, she wrote, "I just diagnosed my 4th case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever this summer and it's only mid-July. This is crazy, I don't usually see more than one case a year. Please please protect yourself from ticks!"
However, a tick-borne disease like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever doesn't make itself felt for 10 days to two weeks after a tick bite.
"They were feeling bad and when I asked them, they said that maybe they had a tick bite and it was weeks ago. And it really wasn't in the forefront of their mind and they were not horribly ill, so it wasn't the first thing on my list, so I wanted to check MIT to rule it out so we were lucky to find the diagnosis when we did," said Dr. Cail.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, before 1950, killed 30 percent of the patients infected with it. But, the discovery of two certain antibiotics have dramatically reduced the death rate from it, but it can still lay you up for weeks, even months, if you don't get treated soon enough.
"They just don't feel good, they might have some joint pain, some aches, certainly the hallmark is the rash. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet," Dr. Cail told News 4.
After time in the outdoors, check yourself for ticks. A little prevention can prevent a lot of misery.