Rocky Mountain spotted fever

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Rocky Mountain spotted fever,

infectious disease caused by a rickettsiarickettsia
, any of a group 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 germ is harbored by wild rodents and other animals and is carried by infected ticks 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 prompt antibiotic treatment is administered. Immunization with vaccine is effective.

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]
(medicine)
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.