Health Information

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?


The following are the most common symptoms of RMSF. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
  • a non-itchy rash that usually starts on the hands, arms, feet, and legs and occurs seven to 10 days after the bite
  • fever
  • headache
  • decreased appetite
  • chills
  • sore throat
  • stomach ache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • body aches
  • sensitivity to light

Death has occurred in untreated cases of RMSF.

Symptoms of RMSF may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a physician for diagnosis.

How is RMSF diagnosed?

Diagnosis is based on symptoms and past history of a tick bite. The appearance and character of the rash is important. Skin samples and lab tests (antibody titer, kidney function tests, platelet count, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, urinalysis, red blood cell count) are usually done to rule out other conditions and confirm diagnosis.

Treatment for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

Specific treatment for RMSF will be determined by your physician and may include antibiotics and supportive care.