Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (cont.)
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) facts
- What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- Where do most cases of RMSF occur in the U.S.?
- What is the history of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What are risk factors for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What are symptoms and signs of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children and adults?
- How is Rocky Mountain spotted fever diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children and adults?
- What are complications of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What is the prognosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children and adults?
- How can people safely remove a tick?
- Can Rocky Mountain spotted fever be prevented?
- Where can people find more information on Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- Pictures of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - Slideshow
- Pictures of Strep or Sore Throat - Slideshow
- Pictures of 10 Common Allergy Triggers - Slideshow
What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick. Statistics show that rates of disease have been rising steadily over the past decade. Although most people recover completely, fatalities occur in approximately 0.5%-5% of cases.
Where do most cases of RMSF occur in the U.S.?
Cases of RMSF have been reported from most areas of the country, and the disease is not restricted to the Rocky Mountain region. In fact, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee account for over 60% of reported cases. In 2008, there were approximately 2,500 cases reported in the U.S., which is more than twice as many cases as were reported annually in the 1990s.
What is the history of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
RMSF was first described in the late 1800s in the Snake River Valley of Idaho. Initially, cases were thought to be confined to the Rocky Mountain area, but by the early 20th century, it was obvious that the disease occurred in areas throughout the country. Dr. Howard Ricketts identified the causative organism in the blood of infected people and showed that ticks could transmit the organism. Many other scientists worked to identify the characteristics of the disease and the tick vector, but it was not until the middle of the 20th century that an effective treatment was discovered. Many of the early researchers died of tick-borne infections while studying the disease.
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