Patients are given a tetracycline type drug or doxycycline for 5 to 10 days either orally or intravenously and they are closely monitored for a reduction of their fever. All medication must be taken as prescribed by the doctor for the entire length of time ordered to ensure the infection has been treated.
• Vigilance in preventing ticks from attaching to clothes or skin as well as meticulous checking after a possible exposure is the best way to prevent getting RMSF or any tick borne illness.
• Wear light colored clothes, long sleeve shirts and pants when hiking. Tucking the pants into socks and boots will prevent ticks from slipping inside.
• Use of repellents containing DEET (30 percent or less) prior to hiking is recommended with washing of treated skin after returning indoors.
• Check yourself, your children, and your pets after a day of outside activities for any suspicious bites. Pets may need additional tick protection treatment as recommended by your veterinarian.
• Rocky Mountain fever is not a common illness, only about 250 to 2,000 cases per year occur in the United States but it is important to seek medical care, especially if children are involved, for any potentially tick related illnesses. (5)
1. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. MedicineNet.com. Web. 4 Aug. 2011.
2. Tick-Borne Diseases, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Medscape Reference. Web 4 Aug. 2011 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/785659-overview
3. Rocky Mountain spotted fever: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. Web. 4 Aug. 2011. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000654.htm
4. ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER. Illinois Department of Public Health Home Page. Web. 4 Aug. 2011. http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbrmsf.htm
5. Infections- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Kidshealth from Nemours. Web. 4 Aug. 2011. http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/rocky.html
Edited by Jody Smith
Michele is an R.N.