What are the signs of Rocky Mountain Fever?
- Initial symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are usually non-specific, consisting of fever, severe headache, myalgias, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Apr 13, 2017 · 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
- 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.
Browse 29 rocky mountain spotted fever stock photos and images available, or search for rickettsia or american dog tick to find more great stock photos and pictures. Blacklegged tick on a leaf, carrier of the Lyme disease, 2005. Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control / James Gathany, William L. Nicholson.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This disease is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii and is transmitted by a number of different ticks. Despite its geographical title, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is ...
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- 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 include a severe headache and high fever. A few days later, a rash usually appears on the wrists and ankles. Rocky Mountain spotted fever responds well to prompt treatment with antibiotics.
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 cannot be spread from person to person.
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 dogs If 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 as the bite site. You can reduce your risk of infection by taking steps to prevent exposure to ticks and tick fluids. When removing a tick from your skin: 1. Use a tweezers to grasp the tick near its head or mouth and remove it carefully 2. Treat the tick as if it's contaminated; soak it in alcohol or flush it down the toilet 3. Clean the bite area with antiseptic 4. Wash your hands thoroughly
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 failure in severe cases. 3. Kidney failure.Your kidneys filter waste from your blood, and the blood vessels within the kidneys are very small and fragile. Damage to these vessels can eventually result in kidney failure. 4. Serious infection, possibly amputation.Some of your smallest blood vessels are in your fingers and toes. If these vessels don't work properly, the tissue at your farthest extremities may develop gangrene and die. Amputation would then be necessary. 5. Death.Untreated, Rocky Mount...
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 impregnated into the fabric is toxic to ticks and also may be helpful in decreasing tick contact when outdoors. 3. Do your best to tick-proof your yard.Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas. 4. Check yourself and your pets for ticks.Do this after being in wooded or grassy areas. Some ticks are no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you are very careful. 5. Remove a tick with tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don't...
Apr 15, 2020 · Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a disease caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii (transmitted by tick bites to humans) that has nonspecific symptoms of fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches with progression to a rash about five to 10 days after an initial bite by an infected tick.