Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
What can be done to prevent the infection?
The best way to reduce the risk of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is to reduce
exposure to ticks. This can be done by:
avoiding tick-infested areas
wearing protective clothing
using insect repellents
inspecting the body for ticks after spending time outdoors
promptly removing attached ticks
What are the long-term effects of the infection?
If treatment is not started early in a person with Rocky Mountain spotted
fever, there may be complications. Long-term effects may involve:
the brain and spinal cord, causing
seizures, meningitis, or encephalitis
the lungs, leading to pneumonia
and lung damage
the kidneys, leading to chronic renal failure
the liver, leading to hepatitis
Serious complications include blood clotting problems and low blood pressure, both of which can lead to death.
Long-term effects, including death and neurologic damage, are not uncommon in
severe cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
What are the risks to others?
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is acquired by a tick bite. It is not spread
directly from person to person, but can be spread through blood transfusions.