Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever does not only occur in the mountain states of the Rockies--it can be found in all parts of the country. In fact, the highest rates of RMSF exist in the southeastern states of Georgia, Virginia and North and South Carolina.

Bacteria Disease

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by a bacteria, Rickettsia rickettsii, which is transmitted to the human population by tick bites. The disease shows up mostly between the months of April and September, when the crawling insects are active.


Different Ticks for Different Regions

In the East, this disease is carried by dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), while in the Rockies, the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) is the carrier. On the West Coast, the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) transports the bacteria.

Disease Status

With fewer than 2,000 cases reported nationally every year, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is not a major disease. And if it is detected early, this illness does not usually develop into a problem. But if not detected or treated early, RMSF can be serious.

Spotted Rash

The spotted rash that occurs up to 10 days after infection is what gives the disease its name. Other symptoms may include fever and chills, muscle aches, nausea, headaches, abdominal pain and vomiting.


Diagnosis and medical treatment for RMSF need to involve a doctor. The most common means of treating the disease involves the use of either oral or IV antibiotics.


Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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