Rocky Mountain spotted fever

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Rocky Mountain spotted fever,

infectious disease caused by a rickettsiarickettsia
, any of an order (Rickettsiales) of very small microorganisms, many disease-causing, that live in vertebrates and are transmitted by bloodsucking parasitic arthropods such as fleas, lice (see louse), and ticks.
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. The bacterium is harbored by wild rodents and other animals and is carried by infected ticks of several species that attach themselves to humans. Despite its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is most prevalent in the S United States from Virgina, the Carolinas, and Georgia W to Oklahoma; it may be encountered in other tick-infested regions. Symptoms include chills and high fever; a rose-colored skin rash that appears first on the wrists and ankles and spreads to the trunk, the spots turning deep red and running together; headache; and pains in the back, muscles, and joints. In severe cases there may be delirium or coma. Spotted fever is a serious disease; however, it is not usually fatal if antibiotic treatment (usually doxycycline) is administered promptly.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever


an acute infectious disease of man, of the group of rickettsioses. A naturally endemic disease, it is encountered in the western hemisphere.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is usually observed in spring and summer. The causative agent is transmitted by ticks from generation to generation; other reservoirs of the virus include rodents and dogs. The disease develops within two to 14 days after the tick bite. The causative agent may also reach the skin and mucosa when the tick is crushed. The disease is manifested by high fever (39° to 41 °C) and a spotty nodular rash that appears on the second to fifth day. Other symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, pains in the bones and muscles, restlessness, and insomnia.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated with antibiotics and oxygen therapy. It is prevented by avoiding tick bites and by disinsectization and immunization.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

[′räk·ē ′mau̇nt·ən ′späd·əd ′fē·vər]
An acute, infectious, typhuslike disease of man caused by the rickettsial organism Rickettsia rickettsi and transmitted by species of hard-shelled ticks; characterized by sudden onset of chills, headache, fever, and an exanthem on the extremities. Also known as American spotted fever; tick fever; tick typhus.
References in periodicals archive ?
Early suspicion of RMSF and prompt initiation of tetracycline-class antimicrobial drug therapy are critical for averting severe sequelae and death from RMSF (17,18).
Human rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases including RMSF and HME (1) are difficult to recognize and may be misdiagnosed due to their often cryptic symptoms.
In the 1930s, it became clear that RMSF occurred in many areas of the United States other than the Rocky Mountain region.
Patients with RMSF can be treated with rickettsial static agents chloramphenicol, tetracycline, or doxycycline.
Editorial Note: RMSF is the most commonly fatal tickborne illness in the United States.
During those months, treat presumptively for RMSF when you see a patient who has a history of tick exposure along with fever, severe headache, and muscle aches with no other explanation for the symptoms, he advised.
This form of Ehrlichiosis is usually much milder than RMSF and lasts one to two weeks before disappearing.
However, during 2008-2012, a total of 15 human RMSF cases (5-year average rate of 0.
RMSF is referred to as Brazilian spotted fever in Brazil, where case-fatality rates are 20%-40% (1,2).
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists modified the RMSF case designation to spotted fever rickettsiosis, acknowledging the complex epidemiology of tick-borne rickettsioses (5).
rickettsii is restricted to the Americas; confirmed cases of RMSF have been reported in Canada, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina.