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  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most lethal and most frequently reported rickettsial illness in the United States. It has been diagnosed throughout the Americas. Some synonyms for Rocky Mountain spotted fever in other countries include “tick typhus,” “Tobia fever”, “São Paulo fever” or “febre maculosa”, and “fiebre manchada”. It is distinct from the viral tick-borne infection, Colorado tick fever. The disease is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a species of bacterium that is spread to humans by Dermacentor ticks. Initial signs and symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle pain, followed by development of rash. The disease can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and without prompt and appropriate treatment it can be fatal. The name “Rocky Mountain spotted fever” is something of a misnomer. Beginning in the 1930s, it became clear that this disease occurred in many areas of the United States other than the Rocky Mountain region. It is now recognized that this disease is broadly distributed throughout the contiguous United States, and occurs as far north as Canada and as far south as Central America and parts of South America. Wikipedia

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