Doctor's Notes on Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is an illness caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii that is transmitted to humans by an infected tick bite. RMSF is the most common fatal tickborne disease in the U.S.
Early symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are nonspecific and may be mistaken for other illness so it is important to alert a doctor that a tick bite has occurred. Symptoms and include fever (usually greater than 102 F), chills, nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue. About two days to two weeks after the tick bite occurs, symptoms including rash (red spots), abdominal pain, joint pains, and diarrhea develop. The rash usually begins on the wrists and ankles and spreads to the palms and soles of the feet. Other symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever may include loss of appetite, hallucinations, sensitivity to light, eye redness, and excessive thirst. If RMSF is not promptly diagnosed and treated, severe symptoms may develop including low blood platelets that can lead to internal bleeding, low blood sodium, meningismus (neck stiffness, headache, and fever that may indicate brain membrane irritation), confusion, blindness, or coma that can be fatal.
Stomach Pain : Nausea & Other Causes QuizQuestion
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Abdominal Pain (Adults)Abdominal pain in adults can range from a mild stomach ache to severe pain. Examples of causes of abdominal pain in adults include appendicitis, gallbladder disease, gastric ulcers, pancreatitis, heart attack, kidney stones, diverticulitis, shingles, spider bites, and more. Information about when to seek medical care for abdominal pain is also provided.
DiarrheaDiarrhea can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, parasites, intestinal diseases or conditions, reactions to medications, and food intolerance or allergies. Symptoms of diarrhea include watery stools, abdominal cramping, fever, and dehydration. Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home. In some cases (in the elderly, small children, or those with severe or chronic medical conditions) may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Joint PainJoint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Pain also occurs with joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection. Joint pain symptoms can be associated with local warmth, swelling, and tenderness. Treatment depends on the cause and can include rest, cold applications, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
Stomach Pain (Abdominal Pain) in ChildrenAbdominal pain in children can range from trivial to life-threatening. Symptoms of abdominal pain range from vomiting, diarrhea, fever, groin pain, urinary problems, or skin rash. The location of the abdominal pain may be around the belly button, occurs only at night, while eating. The pain pain also may be intermittent. Treatment of abdominal pain in children is depends on the cause. Possible causes of abdominal pain in children include infections, food related (food allergy or food poisoning), poisoning from medication, food, household products, appendicitis, diabetes, or spider bites.
TicksThere are more than 800 species of ticks worldwide. Ticks transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, tularemia, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis. Tick bite symptoms include fever, rash, weakness, nausea and vomiting. Treatment involves removing the tick with tweezers, cleaning the bite area with soap and water, and applying antibiotics to the bite.
Vomiting and NauseaVomiting and nausea are common complaints that accompany many conditions and diseases. A few common causes of vomiting and nausea include food poisoning, viruses, vertigo, head injuries, gallbladder disease, appendicitis, migraine, brain tumors, and infections. Treatment of vomiting and nausea depend on the cause of the symptoms.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.