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Definition of Ricketts, Howard T.

Ricketts, Howard T.: American pathologist and pioneering infectious disease expert (1871-1910) who was the first to establish the identity of the infectious organism that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He and others characterized the basic epidemiologic features of the disease, including the role of tick vectors. Their studies found that Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by a microorganism now called Rickettsia rickettsii. Tragically, Dr. Ricketts died of typhus (another rickettsial disease) in Mexico in 1910, shortly after completing his remarkable studies on Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

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