Rocky Mountain spotted fever may be a mouthful, but it is not enough to take the condition less seriously. Thousands of people are affected with this disease every year, but not everyone has heard of this condition. Those who are not aware of this disease should try to learn about it and prevent it from affecting them in the process.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infectious disease caused by a specific type of bacteria transmitted by ticks. The bacteria in question is the Rickettsia rickettsii. This organism is the reason behind the life-threatening human illness that affects a lot of people in both North and South America. In the western United States, the bacteria is carried by the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni); in the eastern United States, it is carried by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). Most of the cases happen during spring and summer, and those who participate in outdoor activities (such as hiking) are at most risk.
Symptoms of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever generally develop about two days to two weeks after the tick bite. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain and vomiting. Rashes may also develop, though in some patients, they never develop. The disease can become severe and potentially fatal if not treated in the first few days of symptoms.
One of the medications used as treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever is doxycycline. This is considered as the first line of treatment for both adults and children who have been bitten by the infected tick; it is most effective if administered in the first few days of symptoms.
Doxycycline proves to be an effective treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever because it fights bacteria, and the said disease is caused by a specific bacterium. The drug is one of the tetracycline antibiotics, a class of prescription medications made from the fungus Streptomyces and designed to stop the spread of infection-causing bacteria in the body. The drug’s specific function is to halt the protein production of bacteria. Aside from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, doxycycline is also used as treatment for other bacterial infections. It is also recommended for those who suffer from malaria, typhus, cholera, Lyme disease and some sexually transmitted diseases. It is available in the following forms: tablet, capsule, syrup and suspension.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a serious disease and should be promptly treated with doxycycline.