Federal health officials are confirming that Rocky Mountain spotted fever caused the death of a Buncombe County child last month.
Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that the death is the first one confirmed in North Carolina due to the tick-borne illness since 2009. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the cause.
Health officials didn't identify the child.
In 2012, North Carolina had almost 600 probable and laboratory-confirmed cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever from 78 counties. The illness is transmitted by infection from a bacterial organism and is transmitted by the bite of an infected dog tick. Symptoms are fever, muscle pain, headache and rash.