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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

What is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Rocky mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection that's transmitted to people by tick bites. It is not transferred from person to person.

Rocky mountain spotted fever occurs most often during months when ticks are active - usually in spring and summer months, between April and early September.

What Causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Rocky mountain spotted fever is caused by an infection with bacteria that infect humans through tick bites. Usually, the tick needs to be attached to you for several hours to transmit the bacteria.

Crushing a tick with your fingers can also transmit the infection to you if tick juices enter your body through a cut or other broken skin on your finger.

The bacteria that causes rocky mountain spotted fever is called Rickettsia rickettsii.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

There are many symptoms of rocky mountain spotted fever.

Initial symptoms of rocky mountain spotted fever initial include:

  • a sudden fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • loss of appetite

Later symptoms include:

  • rash
  • abdominal pain
  • joint pain
  • diarrhea

Unfortunately, rocky mountain spotted fever can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and without prompt and appropriate treatment it can be fatal.

How is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Treated?

Rocky mountain spotted fever is usually treated with antibiotics, a fever reducer and pain medication.

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