Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

What is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a bacteria disease spread by ticks.  It is transmitted in North and South America by tick bites.  Without immediate antibiotic treatment, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause potentially fatal organ damage.

What are the Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Many people experiencing symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever will start to feel ill during the first week after contracting the infection.  However, symptoms may not show for up to two weeks.  Some of the first signs of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are not specific to it.  Those symptoms could include;

  • Cold sweat and chills
  • Fever with high temperature
  • General body and muscle aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness and difficulty sleeping
  • Decrease in appetite

There is a very distinctive rash that is associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  It will typically appear within a few days after the initial symptoms begin. The rash usually first appears on wrists and ankles, and then can potentially spread in both directions to other parts of the body.

How is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Treated?

Because of the severity of the disease and its’ fatal potential, most patients diagnosed with it will require hospitalization.  With the fatality and complications rate being so high, doctors will start treating diagnosed patients even before the test results return.  The rate of fatalities with Rocky Mountain spotted fever is high, making it a significantly dangerous illness that if left untreated could result in a catastrophic outcome for the patient.

If you or anyone you know might have suffered a tick bite, it is important to seek immediate medical attention on an urgent basis.

Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
August 23, 2017
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