Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?

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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a bacterial infection transmitted by tick bites. Symptoms include high fever, headache, nausea, and a distinctive rash. Misdiagnosis is common, and the disease can be life-threatening if left untreated. Antibiotics are the usual treatment.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever come in two stages. Initial symptoms such as headache, high fever, chills, fatigue, headache and nausea are fairly general and the disease can easily be misdiagnosed. Symptoms such as diarrhea, restlessness, and delirium may develop, along with a rash that may appear on the wrists and ankles. Of the common symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the rash is the most distinctive and is the simplest method of identifying the disease.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection most often transmitted by a tick bite. Ticks infected with Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacteria responsible for the symptoms of this disease, are found throughout North America and South America. These ticks are most active during the spring and summer months, which means infection is more likely during this time.

The first symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever appear within two weeks of being bitten by an infected tick. These initial symptoms strike suddenly and without warning. Tick ​​bites do not cause pain or discomfort, meaning the patient is often unaware of the bite or exposure to the disease, making an early misdiagnosis more likely.

Fever is often among the first symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever to notice. This fever is quite high, typically reaching temperatures of at least 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius). Temperatures could reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius).

As with other high fevers, this illness can cause secondary symptoms such as fatigue, chills, aches and headaches. Bright light could intensify the pain and discomfort. Other initial symptoms include gastrointestinal disturbances such as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. The patient may also experience abdominal pain.

Patients experiencing these symptoms are likely to see a doctor. Early symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are nonspecific and resemble many other illnesses. Although doctors are especially aware of the disease during the warmer months and in regions where tick bites are more prevalent, misdiagnosis is possible in the absence of more specific symptoms, especially when ticks have not been discovered.
Secondary symptoms usually appear within three to five days of the onset of fever. As the disease progresses, the patient may experience restlessness, insomnia, or delirium. The patient may also suffer from diarrhea.

During this time, the patient will also develop a rash. This patchy or blotchy rash typically appears on the wrists or ankles before spreading. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is most easily identified by this rash. It should be noted, however, that this rash is not always present and may not be pronounced on darker pigmented skin.

Treatment for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever usually requires a course of antibiotics, and hospitalization may be required to manage symptoms. If left untreated, this disease is life threatening. Even when the disease is not fatal, fever can cause serious damage to vital organs and systems, as well as lifelong debilitating medical conditions.

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