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First Symptoms Of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Updated on March 23, 2011

Another tick-borne disease.

Although Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever appears mostly from early spring to late fall, you can fall victim to this illness even when the snow flies. Most cases of this disease are found in the South-Atlantic Region but it has now spread to all areas where ticks are found.

Ticks, that carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, hide mostly in low bushes and tall grasses, but even when these are covered with snow, the odd tick may move from its furry host or warm grassy hideaway, and latch on to an unsuspecting human.

If you find a tick on your body, remove it immediately. Although there are many tick removers on sale, a good pair of eyebrow tweezers is as good as any. Grasp the tick firmly, as close to your skin as possible, and pull gently until all the tick is removed. You must pull gently as you want to remove the head which of course is the biting part. If you do not get the head, it will fall away in a few days. Put the tick in a small sealed container such as a pill bottle, just in case you become ill and your doctor wants the tick tested.

If you contact Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, your symptoms will begin to appear in from two to ten days after the bite. You will first notice fever, nausea, muscle pain, abdominal pain, light sensitivity and rash. The rash begins as flat red spots, and will first cover the arms and legs and then the trunk. The rash is the major indicator or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as it is the only rash that covers the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It is possible to get the illness without a rash which of course makes a diagnosis more difficult. That is why you want to save the tick.

If you think you may have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, seek medical help immediately as the disease can prove extremely serious, even fatal. The very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are in the most danger. Young people are unfortunately the most likely to get the disease, as they are the ones most adventurous and most likely to venture into tick infested areas. If treated promptly, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be cured completely.

The best way to protect yourself from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, is to avoid being bitten by ticks. Wear light clothing, and when in long grass or bushy areas, wear long sleeves and long pants. If working in the bush, tuck your pant legs into your boots or socks. When feasible, use a proven insect repellent.   When coming in from the outdoors, check your clothing and that of your children. Always check your pets carefully. especially If they have dark coats.  Run your hands over their fur and feel for any small lumps. Ticks come in all sizes, so check carefully.  Cut the long grasses and brush back from around your home. Be especially vigilant if you are in an area of high incidence.


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    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Doodlebugs - I guess some of the best people do live in tick country - B.

    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 6 years ago from Southwest

      Very good information for those of us who live in tick country. Your Hub could save a life.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      I really appreciate your comments and your vote upwards - regards, B.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      It is definitely possible to get Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever without the rash. If you or a family member have been in mountain areas, not just the Rockies, and you have odd flu-like symptoms, get checked by a doctor who is familiar with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Be sure and tell the doc that you have been outdoors in the mountains.

      It's always good to post the info on this deadly disease. Voted up.