Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection transmitted by an infected tick. The condition can cause sudden high fever around 102-103 degrees F, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, muscle pain and rashes.
This condition is considered as a serious form of tick-borne ailment. Although the infection can be managed with antibiotics, it can cause serious damage to the internal organs or even death if not promptly treatment. The risk can be reduced by avoiding tick bites or quick removal if one is discovered.
What are the indications?
The signs of Rocky Mountain spotted fever generally start around 2-14 days after being bitten by a tick. The symptoms might arise abruptly such as:
- High fever that can last for 2-3 weeks
- Muscle pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Diminished appetite
It also causes the manifestation of a rash with miniature red spots on the palms, wrists, soles of the feet and ankles. The rash starts 2-5 days after the fever and spreads inwards to the torso.
After the 6th day of the infection, a second rash might form which has a purplish-red appearance. This is an indication that the disease progressed and considered serious. Remember that the objective is to start treatment before the rash arises.
Management of Rocky Mountain spotted fever
The treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever includes doxycycline which is an oral antibiotic. This is the favored choice for both adults and children.
The antibiotic must be taken once a diagnosis is suspected, even before the results of the laboratory tests are available. Remember that a delay in treatment can lead to serious complications.
The objective is to start treatment right away, usually within the initial 5 days of the infection. The antibiotic must be taken as instructed.
In case treatment is not started within the first 5 days, intravenous antibiotics are given in a healthcare facility. If the disease is serious or complications developed, the length of stay in a hospital is longer.