Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. The bacterium is spread to humans through the bite of infected ticks, and so the disease is most common in months where ticks are active, such as summer. Rocky Mountains occurs throughout most of the U.S. Most cases require hospitalization, and severe cases require intensive care. The disease is diagnosed by finding high titers of antibodies in the blood or by seeing the organism under a microscope in specially stained skin biopsies. The treatment of choice is the antibiotic doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox). Prompt treatment improves survival and reduces complications.
chills fatigue and muscle pain/achiness
loss of appetite
gastrointestinal problems (10% will produce stools positive for occult blood)