Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms of RMSF typically begin 2-14 days after the bite and often include sudden onset of headache, fever, stomach and muscle pain, and vomiting. When not treated early, RMSF can get worse very quickly, and can potentially end in death, even in previously healthy people. Because early symptoms are often vague and can resemble so many other diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose. In addition, diagnostic tests are often not useful early during illness.
- Use repellents that contain 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin.
- Use products that contain permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, including boots, pants, socks and tents.
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
- Check yourself, your kids, and your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors in areas where ticks may be found.
- Remove attached ticks as soon as possible. The preferred method of removal is to grasp the tick close to the skin with tweezers or fine-tipped forceps and gently pull upward with constant pressure.