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Rocky Mountain spotted fever

  • Alternative Names

    Spotted fever


    Symptoms usually develop about 2 to 14 days after the tick bite. They may include:

    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Severe headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Mental confusion
    • Rash -- usually starts a few days after the fever; first appears on wrists and ankles as spots that are 1 - 5 mm in diameter, then spreads to most of the body. About one-third of infected people do not get a rash at all.

    Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

    • Abnormal sensitivity to light
    • Diarrhea
    • Excessive thirst
    • Hallucinations
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

    Signs and tests

    Tests that may be done include:

    • Antibody titer by complement fixation or immunofluorescence
    • Kidney function tests
    • Platelet count
    • Partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
    • Prothrombin time (PT)
    • Red blood cell count
    • Skin biopsy taken from the rash to check for R. rickettsii
    • Urinalysis to check for blood in the urine or protein in the urine