Rocky mountain spotted fever
The disease is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a species of bacteria that is spread to humans by
ixodid (hard) ticks.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is caused by being bitten by an infected tick. Symptoms of Rocky
Mountain Spotted Fever include: high fever (temp. reaching 102 F or greater), severe headaches,
chills, aches and pains, restlessness, vomitting, fatigue, and rashes.
Symptoms and signs in advanced cases include maculopapular rash, petechial rash, abdominal
pain, and joint pain.
If left untreated, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can spread from the site of the bite via your
bloodstream, potentially causing infection in other areas of your body. The infection may also
cause serious complications involving your joints, heart, lungs, kidneys, and central and
peripheral nervous system.
There are several laboratory testing options available for diagnosing RMSF. Such options include
serology (IgG,IgM, titer, etc.), molecul
ar (PCR), and cell culture isolation from a clinical specimen.
People usually get this infection during the months when the ground temperatures reach 40
degrees or higher and when humans are most active.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a harmful disease that can be prevented by wearing the proper
clothing such as light colors so ticks can be spotted, tucking pant legs into tall socks, wearing
DEET containing repellent, and checking the body for ticks, including the hair.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be found throughout most of the United States. With the