Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be difficult to diagnose because the early signs and symptoms are similar to those caused by many other diseases.
Laboratory tests can check a blood sample, rash specimen or the tick itself for evidence of the organism that causes the infection. Because early treatment with antibiotics is so important, doctors don't wait for these test results before starting treatment if Rocky Mountain fever is strongly suspected.
Sept. 25, 2014
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/symptoms/index.html. Accessed July 6, 2014.
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- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=330. Accessed June 28, 2014.
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- Preventing ticks in the yard. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/in_the_yard.html. Accessed July 8, 2014.
- Preventing tick bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. Accessed July 6, 2014.