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 the prognosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children and adults?
Most people with RMSF recover completely over a few weeks. People with severe neurological symptoms may have residual difficulty with balance during walking (ataxia), blindness, and brain damage.
How can people safely remove a tick?
A tick can be removed by grasping it with tweezers very close to the skin and pulling gently. Avoid squeezing/crushing the main tick body to limit the opportunity to eject infected secretions. Do not use nail polish, petroleum jelly, or heat to try to make the tick drop off.
Can Rocky Mountain spotted fever be prevented?
The risk of RMSF can be reduced by avoiding areas where ticks are common. If a person does go into such an area, protective clothing including socks, long pants, and long sleeves will reduce that area of skin available for a tick. Insect repellents containing DEET reduce the risk of tick bites. The risk of disease increases with the duration of tick attachment, so the body should be checked carefully for ticks after returning from an outing. Because most ticks are not infected, doxycycline is not recommended after a tick bite in a person who has no symptoms.
Where can people find more information on Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
The CDC is an excellent source of information on RMSF, available online at http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf.
United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Diagnosis and Management of Tickborne Rickettsial Diseases: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichioses, and Anaplasmosis -- United States." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 55(RR04) (2006): 1-27.
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