Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever facts
- What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever risk factors?
- What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- What is the prognosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- Is it possible to prevent Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
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Rocky Mountain spotted fever facts
- Close to 2,000 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) are reported in the United States each year.
- RMSF is a potentially serious tick-borne disease that can cause fatalities, and it is the most common cause of fatal tick-borne diseases in the United States.
- The incident of RMSF has increased from less than two cases per million people in the year 2000, to over six cases per million people in 2010.
- Although RMSF cases have been reported throughout the United States, the highest incidence of cases in 2010 were in Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
- RMSF is treatable with antibiotics, but it can have serious long-term effects and lead to death if not treated quickly and properly.
What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a tick-borne disease caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. This illness, which is found in North, Central, and South America, is transmitted via the bite of an infected tick. The illness affects the lining of blood vessels (causing a condition termed vasculitis), causing the blood vessels to leak, which ultimately can cause damage to nearly all internal organs.
What causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
RMSF is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a bacterium that is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected tick. In the United States, these ticks include the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), and brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).
The tick needs to bite humans and then attach itself for at least six to 10 hours for the transmission of the bacterium to occur, although transmission does not occur for up to 24 hours in some cases.
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