This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Rocky Mountain spotted fever refers to an infection caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia. This particular bacterium is carried by certain species of ticks and spread to humans through the bites of infected ticks. Signs and symptoms of the condition generally develop approximately 2 to 14 days following the tick bite and may include fever, rash, headache, muscle pain, chills, and/or confusion. Some affected people may also experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, hallucinations, and/or excessive thirst. Most cases occur in the spring and summer and are found in children. Risk factors for developing the condition include recent hiking or exposure to ticks in an area where the disease is known to occur. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is typically treated with antibiotics (such as doxycycline or tetracycline).
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