JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Health officials in Juarez say tick-borne diseases have killed 15 people so far this year, most of them children ages 5 to 14.

The latest two fatalities were reported this week in the Riberas del Bravo neighborhood near the Rio Grande. The victims were 10-year-old Kevin Daniel Guerrero, 10, and his cousin Angel, 13.

“This is something horrible. It happened from one day to the next. It was unexpected. My son died in my arms,” said Sandra Contreras, mother of Kevin Daniel.

Contreras and other residents are calling on city and state authorities to fumigate green areas in their neighborhood that have become a breeding ground for ticks.

Dr. Gumaro Barrios, an epidemiologist for the Chihuahua state Health Department, said 71 people in Juarez have come down with tick-borne diseases like Lyme and Rickettsia so far this year.

Health authorities recommend avoiding tick bites by making sure their pets are free of pests, avoiding green areas where ticks have been spotted, and wearing long pants, long sleeves and tucking pants into socks.