Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial disease spread through the bite of an infected tick. In fact, it is the most deadly tickborne disease in the United States with 3,000-5,000 cases of RMSF and other spotted fever rickettsioses reported annually in the US, including 5-10 deaths and substantially more severe cases.
This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish a RMSF toolkit for healthcare providers, epidemiologists, and public health practitioners to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of RMSF and other tickborne diseases. The toolkit includes free Continuing Education in seven professional categories: CME, CNE, CEU, CECH, AAVSB/RACE, CPE, and CPH.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a serious tickborne illness which can be deadly if not treated early. It is spread by several species of ticks in the United States, including the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and, in parts of the southwestern United States and Mexico, the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). RMSF cases occur throughout the United States, but are most commonly reported from North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
Most people who get sick with RMSF will have a fever, headache, and rash. RMSF can be deadly if not treated early with the right antibiotic.