Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infection you can get from certain kinds of ticks. Ticks are small spider-like animals that attach to your skin and feed on blood. This infection can lead to life-threatening problems, such as shock and kidney failure, if it is not treated quickly. It can be treated with antibiotics.
The first symptoms usually start about 2 to 14 days after the tick bite. They include a sudden fever, severe headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea and vomiting. A rash that looks like many tiny, flat, purple or red spots may come later. The rash usually starts on the wrists and ankles and then spreads to the arms and legs and the rest of the body.
Be sure to remove a tick from your body as soon as you find one. This helps you avoid an infection or any diseases the tick may pass on. Ask your doctor whether you need a tetanus shot to prevent tetanus (lockjaw).
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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