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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection that is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii - spread to humans by bite of infected ticks. Rocky Mountain spotted fever also can be transmitted through cuts or nicks on the hands. This infection rarely passes from human to human, except in the case of blood transfusion. Persons living in close proximity of ticks or pets with ticks are at increased risk for Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It is essential to treat this illness in the early stages lest it lead to kidney failure and death. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is noticed in most parts of the US Rocky Mountain spotted fever is noticed in Mexico and parts of central and south America too.


Symptoms of RMSF include sudden fever, muscle pain and headache. Then the rash is seen all over the body. The affected person feels tired and nauseous. The patient is likely to suffer diarrhea and feel abnormally thirsty and sensitive to light. Special blood tests are used to diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever. There may be low platelets and RBC count. Possible clotting problems and renal failure are likely if not diagnosed in time. A skin biopsy at the rash will show Rickettsia rickettsii. Antibiotics such as Doxycycline or tetracycline are used to treat the infection. There is no vaccine to protect against this spotted fever. Prevention is the best alternative. Keep pets free of ticks. Wear long protective clothing when out in wooded areas. Use insecticides to keep ticks at bay.

Rickettsiosis

Rickettsiosis is a range of infections that can be caused by rickettsial bacteria. These include typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and trench fever. Symptoms of Rickettsiosis are fever, headache, chills and skin rashes. This kind of infection is transmitted by lice, ticks and mites. Typically antibiotics like Doxycycline are used to treat rickettsial infection.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 18, 2017