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A 36-year-old member asked:

Will one die from rocky mountain spotted fever?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 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.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 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 49 years experience
If treatment begins: Within several days, mortality is quite low but deaths certainly do occur when the infection is not recognized quickly.

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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 21 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.
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 33 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.
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 44 years experience
Seek treatment: Rocky mountain spotted fever (rmsf) is a tickborne disease caused by the bacterium rickettsia rickettsii. See a doctor for treatment.
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 56 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.
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 23 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.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 56 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

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