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.
Sep. 10, 2011
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/symptoms/index.html. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Bolgiano EB, et al. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In: Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..X0001-1--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Traub SJ, et al. Tick-borne diseases: Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In: Auerbach PS. Wilderness Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-03228-5..50050-1--cesec8&isbn=978-0-323-03228-5&sid=1180614704&uniqId=266728234-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-03228-5..50050-1--cesec32. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Sexton DJ. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed July 15, 2011.
- Sexton DJ. Treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 18, 2011.
- Preventing tick bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. Accessed July 18, 2011.