U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 36-year-old member asked:

Will one die from rocky mountain spotted fever?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 35 years experience
A few people do die: Rocky mountain spotted fever (rmsf) is a rickettsia (type of bacteria) infection transmitted by a tick bite. Symptoms start in 1 week (2-14day range). The germ attacks the cells lining the small blood vessels throughout the body, causing multi-organ damage and sometimes death. Death rate is uncertain, but may be about one out of 30 patients. Some patients do worse than others.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 46 years experience
We pathologists see perhaps 100 cases of fatal Rocky Mountain spotted fever per year. Almost always, it was overlooked. The rash isn't easy to spot, the doctor may not ask about tick bites or the tick wasn't noticed. The antibiotics that get thrown at "an unknown infection" generally don't touch RMSF. Treated early, expect a full recovery.
Jan 21, 2012
Dr. Larry Lutwick
Infectious Disease 51 years experience
If treatment begins: Within several days, mortality is quite low but deaths certainly do occur when the infection is not recognized quickly.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

CA
A 32-year-old member asked:

Which is the insect that transmits rocky mountain spotted fever?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
Infectious Disease 23 years experience
Arachnids!: Technically "insects" do not transmit the bacteria (rickettsia rickettsii) resposible for rocky mountain spotted fever (rmsf). Ticks - which are technically related to spiders rather than insects - do transmit r. Rickettsi. The most common ticks are dog ticks. However a variety of ticks from around north & south america are capable of spreading rmsf including, although rarely, deer ticks.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 41-year-old member asked:

What exactly does rocky mountain spotted fever do to your body?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 35 years experience
Germ damages cells: Rocky mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a rickettsia (type of bacteria) infection transmitted by a tick bite (feeding > several hrs). Symptoms start in 1 week (2-14d range). The germ attacks the cells lining the small blood vessels throughout the body, causing multi-organ damage and sometimes death. Treatment is with doxycycline, which is started if RMSF is suspected. Lab tests confirm the disease.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
CA
A 37-year-old member asked:

When a boy has rocky mountain spotted fever, what does it mean?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology 46 years experience
Seek treatment: Rocky mountain spotted fever (rmsf) is a tickborne disease caused by the bacterium rickettsia rickettsii. See a doctor for treatment.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 45-year-old member asked:

Can you give me the rocky mountain spotted fever facts?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 58 years experience
Not entirely: Rmsf is caused by an organism called rickettsia rickettsiae and transmitted to humans by tick bite (several different ticks). It is most common in the southeastern usa and presents with rash on the extremities gradually progressing centrally, accompanied by fever, malaise, headaches, muscle aches. Easily treated with antibiotics when suspected.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What are the cpmmon symptoms of rocky mountain spotted fever?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Simon Tsiouris
Infectious Disease 25 years experience
Fever and rash: Fever and a rash (the spots of rocky mountain spotted fever) followed by low blood pressure and bleeding are some of the symptoms a person can have.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 58 years experience
This can also produce muscle discomfort, central nervous system changes, and the rash can be rather characteristic. It begins on the extremities and spreads towards the central part of the body. May involve the palms and also may become hemorrhagic. It often blanches on pressure.
Jul 4, 2012

Related questions

A 21-year-old member asked:
If untreated what is the death rate of rocky mountain fever?
2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
A 29-year-old member asked:
Has anybody else had rocky mountain spotted fever and lived?
1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
A 38-year-old member asked:
Is rocky mountain spotted fever contagious?
2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
A 32-year-old member asked:
Does rocky mountain spotted fever cause a coma?
2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Last updated Aug 16, 2017

People also asked

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.