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Boutonneuse Fever

Last updated June 16, 2020

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is a serious and life-threatening infectious disease caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii belonging to the Rickettsiaceae family.

The topic Boutonneuse Fever you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Quick Summary:

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is a serious and life-threatening infectious disease caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii belonging to the Rickettsiaceae family
  • Rickettsial diseases are caused by bacteria, which reside inside the cells of another living entity (a host such as ticks). These bacteria then cause an infection in humans, when transmitted through the host/carrier bites
  • The bacteria causing Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are carried by American dog ticks (called Dermacentor variabilis), wood ticks (called Dermacentor andersoni), and brown dog ticks called Rhipicephalus sanguineus
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is generally seen in parts of North, Central, and South America. The disease is commonly reported in children, elderly adults, and alcoholics. Individuals belonging to the African-American community are reported to have a genetic predisposition for contracting the disease
  • People, who have pets at home, or spend significant amounts of time outdoors, or travel to regions with high incidence rates of RMSF, also have a higher risk
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is characterized by the onset of sudden headache, fever, muscle pain, and skin rashes. Several immunological, biochemical, and/or organ function assays or tests may be employed to accurately diagnose RMSF
  • Severe cases of infection can lead to failure of vital organs, such as the kidneys, brain, heart, or lungs. Meningitis, or inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord; and pneumonitis, or inflammation in the lungs, have also been reported as complications
  • Prompt treatment of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever with antibiotics is recommended, if the healthcare provider suspects a Rickettsia rickettsii infection. It is also recommended that treatment be initiated within 5 days of the start of symptoms. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help cure the condition. However, a delay in treatment can potentially lead to complications and fatalities
  • Presently, there is no vaccine available for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. However, infection with Rickettsia rickettsii can be prevented by avoiding tick bites using insect repellents, wearing full-sleeved shirts that are tucked into full pants when venturing outdoors, and seeking prompt medical attention if any symptoms are observed

Please find comprehensive information on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 9, 2017
Last updated: June 16, 2020