Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection passed to
humans by wood ticks and dog ticks that can lead to life-threatening
complications, such as shock and kidney failure, if it is not treated promptly.
Initial symptoms usually start about 2 to 14 days after the tick bite and
may include a sudden fever, severe headache, muscle and joint aches, distinct rash,
and nausea and vomiting.
The rash is usually made up of many tiny, flat, purple or red spots
(petechial rash). It usually starts on the wrists and ankles, then spreads to the arms and legs and the rest of the body.
It is also called tick fever, spotted fever, or tick typhus. Rocky
Mountain spotted fever is found in the southeastern, western, and south-central
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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