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What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is an infection caused by a certain bacteria that some wood ticks and dog ticks carry. Ticks burrow into your body enough to be able to draw your blood, transferring the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii into your blood stream. Once the bacteria enter your blood stream, RMSF can spread throughout the body. It can cause a variety of symptoms including headache, fever, weakness, and rash. RMSF was named such because it was first discovered in the Rocky Mountain area.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection spread by wood ticks in the western United States, dog ticks in the eastern United States, and other ticks in the southern United States. Rocky Mountain spotted fever occurs mostly in the spring and summer, and most cases occur in children.

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