Rocky Mountain spotted fever, aka spotted fever, is an infectious disease caused by rickettsii, a type of bacteria. It is transmitted to you by an infected tick’s bite. And many of the recent infection cases have been in the eastern portion of the U.S., not the Rocky Mountain area.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms usually don’t develop right away. Generally takes at least a couple of days, and for some a couple of weeks.
One of the telltale symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is petechiae skin rash, albeit not for everyone. This skin rash typically starts with pink spots appearing around your wrists and ankles. From there, your skin condition will continue to spread, as the macules transform into petechiae. And then your petechiae skin rash may run together into large hemorrhage areas.
Other potential symptoms of spotted fever may involve:
- appetite loss
- bloody stools
- abdominal pain
- severe headache
- nausea, vomiting
Also, as blood and fluid leaks out of affected blood vessels, other tissues and organs may swell causing serious symptoms or complications of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, such as:
- hearing loss
- muscle spasms
- kidneys ~ kidney failure
- nerve damage, paralysis
- heart ~ arrythmia, heart failure
- liver ~ liver function decreases, liver failure
- lungs ~ breathing difficulties, pneumonitis, lung failure
- brain ~ encephalitis causing seizures, coordination, balance problems, brain damage
Spotted fever treatment entails removal of your tick and antibiotics to defeat your infection. Prompt antibiotic treatment usually fends off the risk of death caused by Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
So, anytime a tick makes contact with your skin followed by a petechiae skin rash or any of the other symptoms of spotted fever, get with your health care provider ASAP for treatment. Otherwise you could wind up in a hospital receiving treatments of intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, kidney dialysis and mechanical ventilation just to stay alive.
According to the CDC, there’s currently no licensed vaccine available for prevention of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.