What symptoms and signs did you experience with Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
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What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms and signs?
The signs and symptoms of RMSF can appear within the first few days after the
tick bite, or they can be delayed by up to two weeks.
RMSF typically begins with headaches, a high fever, and muscle aches. Some
individuals may also develop abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. It is
frequently followed by a rash (usually two to five days after the onset of
fever) that appears around the ankles, forearms, and wrists. The rash consists of
small, non-itchy, flat pink spots that then spread to the individual's chest and
back and then down the remainder of the extremity. The rash can sometimes
involve the palms and soles. In some cases (about 10% of the time), no rash
develops, which makes diagnosing RMSF much more difficult. In about 35%-60% of
patients with RMSF, a spotty rash that is red or purple (petechiae) may develop
around the sixth day or later after the onset of symptoms. The appearance of
this type of rash indicates that the disease has become more severe.
The damage to the lining of small blood vessels causes them to become leaky,
with bleeding or clot formation leading to the following potential
Kidneys: Kidney failure may occur due to damage of the small blood vessels
in the kidney.
Extremities: Due to damage to the smallest blood vessels in the fingers or
toes, blood flow can be disrupted, leading to gangrene, with amputation sometimes
Brain: Headaches, lethargy, confusion, and even seizures can occur due to
damage to the blood vessels in the brain.
Heart and lungs: Inflammation of heart tissue (myocarditis) or respiratory
failure can lead to death.
Eyes: Damage to the eyes may occur, often due to inflammation of the
vascular structures of the eye (uveitis or retinal vasculitis).