- Risk Factors
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection transmitted by a tick. Without prompt treatment, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause serious damage to internal organs, such as your kidneys and heart.Although it was first identified in the Rocky Mountains, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is most commonly found in the southeastern part of the United States. It also occurs in parts of Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America.Early signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever...
Although many people become ill within the first week after infection, signs and symptoms may not appear for up to 14 days. Initial signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever often are nonspecific and can mimic those of other illnesses: 1. High fever 2. Chills 3. Severe headache 4. Muscle aches 5. Nausea and vomiting 6. Confusion or other neurological changes
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by infection with the organism Rickettsia rickettsii. Ticks carrying R. rickettsii are the most common source of infection.If an infected tick attaches itself to your skin and feeds on your blood for six to 10 hours, you may pick up the infection. But you may never see the tick on you.Rocky Mountain spotted fever primarily occurs when ticks are most active and during warm weather when people tend to spend more time outdoors. Rocky Mountain spotted fever...
Factors that may increase your risk of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever include: 1. Living in an area where the disease is common 2. The time of year — infections are more common in the spring and early summer 3. How much time you spend in grassy or wooded areas 4. Whether you have a dog or spend time with dogsIf an infected tick attaches to your skin, you can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever when you remove it, as fluid from the tick can enter your body through an opening such a...
Rocky Mountain spotted fever damages the lining of your smallest blood vessels, causing the vessels to leak or form clots. This may cause: 1. Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). In addition to severe headaches, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause inflammation of the brain, which can cause confusion, seizures and delirium. 2. Inflammation of the heart or lungs. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause inflammation in areas of the heart and lungs. This can lead to heart failure or lung f...
You can decrease your chances of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever by taking some simple precautions: 1. Wear long pants and sleeves. When walking in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass. 2. Use insect repellents. Products containing DEET (Off! Deep Woods, Repel) often repel ticks. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Clothing that has permethrin i...
- Preparing For Your Appointment
Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be difficult to diagnose because the early signs and symptoms are similar to those caused by many other diseases.Laboratory tests can check a blood sample, rash specimen or the tick itself for evidence of the organism that causes the infection. Because early treatment with antibiotics is so important, doctors don't wait for these test results before starting treatment if Rocky Mountain fever is strongly suspected.
People who develop Rocky Mountain spotted fever are much more likely to avoid complications if treated within five days of developing symptoms. That's why your doctor will probably have you begin antibiotic therapy before receiving conclusive test results.Doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others) is the most effective treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but it's not a good choice if you're pregnant. In that case, your doctor may prescribe chloramphenicol as an alternative.
You'll likely start by seeing your family doctor. In some cases, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.
People also ask
How is Rocky Mountain spotted fever diagnosed?
What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain tick fever?
Can Rocky Mountain spotted fever cause confusion?
How do you test for Rocky Mountain Fever?
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial disease spread through the bite on an infected tick. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Contact with Infected Ticks. Rocky Mountain fever is transmitted to humans through contact with infected ticks. Infections are most common when ticks are active during the spring and summer.
- Encephalitis. Encephalitis is a serious inflammation of the brain, and it is one of the many complications of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Symptoms of encephalitis begin with a headache, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue.
- Kidney Failure. Kidney failure often occurs when treatment for Rocky Mountain fever is delayed. Healthy kidneys filter waste products from the blood, and this filtration process becomes ineffective or completely stops once kidney failure has occurred.
- Heart or Lung Inflammation. Heart or lung inflammation may develop as Rocky Mountain spotted fever progresses. Inflammation that occurs in or around the heart is known as myocarditis.
- What Is It?
- Expected Duration
- When to Call A Professional
- Further Information
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a severe illness caused by tiny bacteria called Rickettsia rickettsii, which are transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. In the eastern United States and in California, the infected tick is usually Dermacentor variabilis, the American dog tick. In most of the western United States, the tick is more likely to be Dermacentor andersoni, the Rocky Mountain wood tick. Humans typically become infected in the spring and early summer. Once someone is bitten b...
Typically, symptoms begin 2 to 14 days after a tick bite, with an average of 1 week. During the first 3 days of symptoms, an infected person usually has a fever of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit and a severe headache. Muscle aches, nausea and vomiting are common. Between the 3rd and 5th day of fever, most people develop a rash, which usually begins on the wrists and ankles, then spreads to the arms, legs and trunk. In about two-thirds of patients, the rash also involves the palms of the han...
The classic features that may lead your doctor to suspect Rocky Mountain spotted fever are high fever, rash, headache, and a history of tick exposure, such as walking in a tick-infested area, within 14 days of developing the symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Only about 60% of patients recall being bitten by a tick. The early symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are not specific, and diagnostic tests often are negative early in the disease. Therefore, if your doctor suspects that y...
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever begin 2 to 14 days after a bite by an infected tick. Most cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever respond to appropriate antibiotic treatment within a week. Once symptoms develop, a person can die within 2 weeks without proper treatment.
Because there is no vaccine against Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the most effective way to prevent the illness is to avoid walking in wooded areas or fields where ticks are found. If you must walk in tick-infested areas, follow these precautions: 1. Wear light-colored clothing, which allows you to promptly identify a clinging tick. 2. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that are snug around the wrists and ankles. 3. While you are outdoors, check yourself for ticks every two hours. 4. Use an a...
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated with one of the tetracycline drugs, usually doxycycline (sold as a generic), in adults and children over age 9. In general, tetracyclines should not be prescribed for pregnant women and children under the age of 9 because these antibiotics can permanently stain the teeth. However, doxycycline is the best available antibiotic to treat this potentially life threatening infection and is preferred if Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the likely diagnosis, des...
Call your doctor immediately if you develop fever, headaches and nausea, with or without a rash, after you have been bitten by a tick. Even if you don't remember being bitten, call your doctor if you develop these symptoms and you have walked recently in tick-infested areas.
Before effective antibiotics were available, 20% to 25% of people with Rocky Mountain spotted fever died. Now, however, only about 5% of patients die from this illness. Older patients have a slightly higher risk of death than younger ones, and males have a higher risk than females.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.Medical Disclaimer
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is not restricted to the Rockies and it would be a good idea for anyone in the Americas to learn about its Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Diagnosis.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be confirmed through a blood test, and antibiotics are normally started immediately if clinicians suspect a patient has this condition. The major causes and complications of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are described below.
Aug 28, 2018 · Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial infection spread by a bite from an infected tick. It causes vomiting, a sudden high fever around 102 or 103°F, headache, abdominal pain, rash ...
- Jacquelyn Cafasso
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is spread by various species of ticks and is not confined just to the Rocky Mountain regions of North America. Clinical signs can be non-specific and cover multiple body systems. Early diagnosis and treatment gives the best prognosis for recovery after treatment with antibiotics. Prevention of tick bites and prompt removal of ticks is important.