Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Report within 24 hours of Diagnosis to the Local Health Department.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of infected tick. RMSF is a serious illness that can be severe or even fatal if not treated. Symptoms may include sudden high fever, chills, muscle aches, severe headache, red eyes, abdominal pain, vomiting, and tiredness. The rash that makes a “spotted fever’ may begin anytime between 1 to 10 days after symptoms start. Doxycycline is the first line of treatment for adults and children and is most effective at preventing death if started in the first five days of symptoms. RMSF is not spread from person to person. To prevent RMSF, it is important to avoid tick bites. Examples of prevention measures includes avoiding wooded areas with dense shrubs and leaf litter, wearing protective clothing, using insect repellents, performing tick checks and by mowing lawns and keeping shrubs trimmed.


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Last Reviewed: 2/16/2018