Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most severe and most frequently reported rickettsial illness in the United States. The disease is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a species of bacteria that is spread to humans by ixodid (hard) ticks. Over 90% of patients with Rocky Mountain spotted fever are infected during April through September. This period is the season for increased numbers of adult and nymphal Dermacentor ticks.
Occurence: Over half of Rocky Mountain spotted fever infections are reported from the south-Atlantic region of the United States:
Virginia West Virginia
Infection may also occur in other parts of the United States, namely the Pacific region:
and in west south-central region.:
Manifestations: following an incubation period of about 5-10 days after a tick bite. The early clinical presentation of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is nonspecific and may resemble a variety of other infectious and non-infectious diseases.
Initial symptoms may include:
lack of appetite
Later signs and symptoms include:
The classic triad of findings for this disease are fever, rash, and history of tick bite. However, this combination is often not identified when the patient initially presents for care.
Diagnose and treatment: Diagnose is based on blood-test. Appropriate antibiotic treatment should be initiated immediately when there is a suspicion of Rocky Mountain spotted fever on the basis of clinical and epidemiologic findings. Treatment should not be delayed until laboratory confirmation is obtained. Vaccine: Is not available.
Prevent Rocky montain spotted fever by:
Avoid tick-infested areas
Protect yourselves from tick bites by dressing appropriately
Using repellents. Repellents containing N,N-diethylmetatoluamide (DEET) can be applied directly on the skin.
Compounds containing permethrin have an acaricidal and repellent effect and should be used on clothing and camping gear.
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