What does Rocky Mountain spotted fever rash look like?
www.verywellhealth.com/rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-1068818#:~:text=The rash associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever,10% of those infected never get a rash.
- The rash associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever usually starts around 4 days into the illness. It looks like small, red, flat spots starting most often on the ankles and wrists, and then moving to the palms, soles, and trunk. As the rash progresses, it becomes bumpier. Approximately 10% of those infected never get a rash.
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- Clinical significance
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is an illness caused by infection with the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia, which is transmitted by a bite from infected ticks.
The bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. The primary vectors (the agents that transmit infection) for RMSF in the U.S. are the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).
Early symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever usually occur about five to 10 days following the tick bite, and include fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and headache. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include rash, abdominal pain, joint pain, and diarrhea. The disease can be severe and most patients need to be hospitalized.
The disease was named Rocky Mountain spotted fever as the disease was first discovered in that part of the U.S., however there are few cases in that part of the country today. Most cases of RMSF in the U.S. occur in the southeastern part of the country, including Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The most cases of RMSF are found in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Other than Antarctica, RMSF can be found in nearly all parts of the world. The disease occurs seasonally, mostly from April through September in the US. While anyone can be infected, children under 10 years of age are at highest risk.
To diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever, three things a physician will look for are fever and rash, occurring a few days after a tick bite. One test for RMSF includes a biopsy of the skin rash, and another involves immunofluorescence staining of skin-tissue samples. Treatment usually begins immediately, even before test results come back, as the disease can progress rapidly.
Treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever includes a tetracycline (Achromycin) antibiotic, usually doxycycline (Vibramycin). This is taken per doctor's instructions until several days after the fever goes away and the patient starts to show signs of improvement. Most patients are treated for five to 10 days, even while waiting for lab test results to come back. To remove the tick, grasp it as close to the skin's surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist the tick as this may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens remove the remaining parts with tweezers. Contact your doctor if you are unable to remove remaining parts, or if illness occurs. Once the tick is removed, disinfect the bite with rubbing alcohol and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
It is believed that once a person is infected with R. rickettsia, the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever, they will be immune to contracting it again. However, tick-preventive measures should always be taken, as ticks can transmit other diseases. The best way to reduce the chances of getting Rocky Mountain spotted fever is to limit exposure to ticks. If you live in a tick-infested area, promptly remove all crawling or attached ticks. It may take some time to transmit the disease from the tick to the host, so prompt removal is important. While you can't completely eliminate all exposure to ticks, the following slides discuss preventive measures that can be taken to protect yourself when in tick-infested environments. Wear light-colored clothing to allow you to more easily see ticks on your clothes. Keep ticks out by tucking your pant legs into your socks so ticks cannot crawl up your legs. Use repellants to discourage ticks from attaching to you. Permetrin is a repellant that can be sprayed on clothing and shoes that will last several days. DEET (n, n-diethyl-m-toluamide) is a repellant that can be applied directly to the skin, but only lasts a few hours. Use caution when applying DEET to children, as it may cause adverse reactions. Check with your child's pediatrician about what repellants to use safely on your child. Check your children and pets for ticks after you have been in a tick-infested area as both can carry ticks into the house that will attach to a person later. Pay special attention to their hair and remove any ticks promptly. Remove ticks safely. Use fine-tipped tweezers or specially-made notched tick extractors. Protect hands with paper towels or latex gloves. Do not remove ticks with bare hands. Never squeeze or crush the body of the tick because the fluids may contain the infectious bacterium. If the tick is accidentally crushed or punctured and tick fluids get on the skin, disinfect with rubbing alcohol or iodine. Limiting exposure to ticks remains the most effective way to prevent tickborne disease. However, application of acaricides (chemicals that kill ticks and mites) and control of tick habitats (for example, leaf litter and brush) have been effective in small-scale trials. Other methods being developed include applying acaricides to animal hosts by using baited tubes, boxes, and feeding stations in tick-infested areas. Fungi, parasitic nematodes, and parasitic wasps may also help with tick-control efforts. Community-based tick management strategies may be an effective public-health response to reduce the incidence of tick-borne infections.
Despite its geographical title, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is present in many locations throughout the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere. After infection by tick bite, there is an...
- 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...
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, and...
- Jacquelyn Cafasso
- Basic Facts
- What The Rash Looks Like
- How Serious Is It?
- How It's Diagnosed
After an infected tick bites a human, the bacteria are released into the bloodstream. There they attack cells that line the blood vessels and smooth muscles that control the constriction of the blood vessel. They set off an immune reaction in the blood vessel causing the vessel to swell and become leaky. This process can occur in any organ system in the body causing a wide variety of symptoms.
The incubation period is 2 to 14 days after the tick bite. The average incubation period is 7 days. The most common symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are the abrupt onset of fever, severe headache, muscle aches, and vomiting. Other symptoms that are less common are abdominal pain, swollen lymph nodes, cough, stiff neck, confusion, and coma.
Overall, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is fatal in 3% to 7% of cases. However, it is fatal in over 30% of those who are not treated. The mortality is higher in people over 40 years of age. Death usually results from shock and kidney failure.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is diagnosed mainly based on symptoms. There are no reliable laboratory tests to diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever while the patient has the disease. Most laboratory tests that are specific for the bacteria involve obtaining one blood test while the patient is sick and another in 4 weeks to see if the immune system has built up antibodies to the bacteria. Obviously, waiting for this second test to return before making a diagnosis is fruitless and only useful in retrospect. Other lab tests that may indicate Rocky Mountain spotted fever are a low white blood cell count, low platelet count, or elevated liver function tests. The rash is usually the key to diagnosis since not many rashes affect the palms and soles.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated with antibioticssuch as doxycycline, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol. Most providers will prescribe one of these antibiotics on the assumption that the disease is Rocky Mountain spotted fever and confirm the diagnosis with another blood test in 4 weeks. Pregnant women should not take doxycycline or tetracycline. Since chloramphenicol is available in the US only in IV form, pregnant women should be admitted to the hospital.
Preventing Rocky Mountain spotted fever involves preventing tick bites. Children and adults who are outside in tick-infested areas should wear long clothing and tuck the end of the pants into the socks. Insect repellant should be applied to shoes and socks. Permethrin products are more effective against ticks than DEET products. Check for ticks attached to the skin every 2-3 hours while outside, then check thoroughly once a day. Favorite hiding places for ticks are in the hair so check the scalp, neck, armpits, and groin.
A classic case of RMSF involves a rash that appears 2-4 days after the onset of fever as small, flat, pink, macules on the wrists, forearms, and ankles and spreads to include the trunk and sometimes the palms of hands and soles of feet.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF): An acute febrile (feverish) disease initially recognized in the Rocky Mountain states, caused by Rickettsia rickettsii transmitted by hard-shelled (ixodid) ticks. Occurs only in the Western Hemisphere. Anyone frequenting tick-infested areas is at risk for RMSF.
Rash is a common sign in people who are sick with RMSF. Rash usually develops 2-4 days after fever begins. The look of the rash can vary widely over the course of illness. Some rashes can look like red splotches and some look like pinpoint dots.