Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Remedy is the most severe and frequently reported rickettsial illness in the United States.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be very difficult to diagnose in its early stages, even among experienced physicians who are familiar with the disease. Infected patients generally visit a physician in the first week of their illness, following an incubation period of about 5-10 days after a tick bite.
The early clinical presentation of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is nonspecific and may resemble a variety of other infectious and non-infectious diseases. Initial symptoms may include:
- severe headache
- muscle pain
- lack of appetite
Later signs and symptoms include:
- petechial rash (Etymology: New Latin, from Italian petecchia, ultimately from Latin impetigo: a minute reddish or purplish spot containing blood that appears in skin or mucous membrane as a result of localized hemorrhage)
- abdominal pain
- joint pain
The classic triad of findings for this disease are fever, rash, and history of tick bite. This combination, however, is often not identified when the patient initially presents for care.
The rash first appears 2-5 days after the onset of fever and is often not present or may be very subtle when the patient is initially seen by a physician. Younger patients usually develop the rash earlier than older patients. Most often it begins as small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots (macules) on the wrists, forearms, and ankles. These spots turn pale when pressure is applied and eventually become raised on the skin.
The characteristic red, spotted (petechial) rash of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is usually not seen until the sixth day or later after onset of symptoms, and this type of rash occurs in only 35% to 60% of patients with Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The rash involves the palms or soles in as many as 50% to 80% of patients; however, this distribution may not occur until later in the course of the disease. As many as 10% to 15% of patients may never develop a rash.