Rocky Mountain spotted fever

C. A. Kamper, K. Hammond Chessman, Stephanie Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are reviewed. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a severe infection caused by Rickettsia rickettsii transmitted to man by various species of ticks. High-incidence areas exist in the southeast and south central United States. Only 60-70% of patients with the disease report a history of tick or exposure to tick-infested areas. The disease is initially characterized by fever, headache, gastrointestinal complaints, myalgia, and a generalized rash. In several days generalized vasculitis may lead to periorbital edema and nonpitting edema of the face and extremities. Central nervous system involvement is common. Because signs and symptoms associated with the disease are nonspecific, the diagnosis is often delayed or missed. Traditionally diagnostic confirmation relied on serologic testing, but an indirect fluorescent antibody assay will soon be commercially available. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is usually treated with the rickettsiostatic agents chloramphenicol or tetracyline, but few comparative data on these agents in patients with the disease are available. For patients who cannot tolerate oral medications, intravenous chloramphenicol sodium succinate is the preferred treatment; chloramphenicol is also the drug of choice for children less than eight years of age. Otherwise, oral tetracycline hydrochloride is the drug of choice. Antibiotic therapy should be continued for 7-10 days or until the patient is afebrile for two to five days. All cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever must be reported to the Centers for Disease Control. The best ways to decrease the morbidity and mortality of the disease are to increase awareness of its signs and symptoms and to prevent exposure to ticks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pharmacy
Volume7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Ticks
Chloramphenicol
Signs and Symptoms
Edema
Rickettsia rickettsii
Myalgia
Proxy
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Vasculitis
Exanthema
Tetracycline
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Headache
Epidemiology
Fever
Therapeutics
Extremities
Central Nervous System
Anti-Bacterial Agents

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science

Cite this

Kamper, C. A., Hammond Chessman, K., & Phelps, S. (1988). Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Clinical Pharmacy, 7(2), 109-116.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever. / Kamper, C. A.; Hammond Chessman, K.; Phelps, Stephanie.

In: Clinical Pharmacy, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1988, p. 109-116.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Kamper, CA, Hammond Chessman, K & Phelps, S 1988, 'Rocky Mountain spotted fever', Clinical Pharmacy, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 109-116.
Kamper CA, Hammond Chessman K, Phelps S. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Clinical Pharmacy. 1988;7(2):109-116.
Kamper, C. A. ; Hammond Chessman, K. ; Phelps, Stephanie. / Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In: Clinical Pharmacy. 1988 ; Vol. 7, No. 2. pp. 109-116.
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