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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever


In the western U.S., the causative agent R rickettsii is transmitted by the wood tick, and in the eastern U.S., by the dog tick. Other ticks transmit the infection in the southern U.S. and in Central and South America.

Contrary to the name "Rocky Mountain" most recent cases have been reported in the eastern United States: North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. Most cases occur in the spring and summer with about 1,000 cases reported per year. Most of the reported cases have been in children.


American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni)

Causative Agent:

Rickettsia ricketsia


Endemic Area:

Entire United States, including Dutchess County, NY
Mainly in Southern Atlantic States

Incubation Period:

3-14 days 

Classic Symptoms:

Sudden fever
Maculopapular rash on soles of hands and feet that spreads over the entire body
3%-5% fatality rate

Lab Test(s):



Antibiotic: Tetracyclines, Chloramphenicol

Search the Center for Disease Control, The National Institute of Health or PubMed for more information on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Source: Dutchess County DOH, National Institute of Health








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