Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - What is it? What causes it?

On July 11th, CBS Minnesota WCCO 4 News reported of a death caused by Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) in Wisconsin. The woman was in her 50s. She was bitten by a tick in early-May, diagnosed with RMSF in mid-June, and died just a few days later. This is Wisconsin’s first ever documented death from RMSF, which is typically found in the central and southeastern parts of the United States.

And for us, it is way too close to home. Knowing what to look for and how to avoid the ticks that cause RMSF is the best way to prevent it.

RMSF Transmission and Symptoms

RMSF is carried by three different ticks each in different areas of the country: the American dog tick and the brown dog tick can both be found here in the Twin Cities. And the Rocky Mountain wood tick is the third culprit.

Most commonly cases of RMSF are found in North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. This disease can be severe and life-threatening. Symptoms can occur quickly.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, muscle pain, and lack of appetite. A rash almost always occurs with RMSF, sometimes blotching and sometimes a pinpoint rash, however, it can often appear later in the illness, so it is not very useful for diagnosis. Severe RMSF that does not lead to death can lead to paralysis, amputation due to blood vessel damage, hearing loss, or mental defect. Early treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline will likely lead to complete recovery.

Complete Protection Against Mosquito and Tick-Borne Illnesses

What do you think when you read about a tick-borne illness that isn’t typically found in our region but has recently killed a woman? It is essential to use this as a reminder that creatures migrate and change their environments. Travel and weather changes can lead to changing habitats for the pests that carry disease. This isn’t information that should lead to fear but simply knowing should remind you to protect yourself against tick bites.

At Mosquito Squad of the Twin Cities, we can protect you not only from those terrible mosquitoes that you expect to show up but also from the ticks that you didn’t expect. Our barrier treatment covers it all and leaves you to focus on more important things… like baseball scores, summer vacation, and enjoying life. Call us today for more information about our tick protection services. We can’t wait to start working for you.