Usually a rash on about the third day
(3) Without treatment. In the absence of specific therapy, the fatality rate is
about 20 percent. Death is uncommon with prompt and adequate treatment.
b. Specific Therapy. Therapy consists of daily administration of tetracycline
antibiotics or chloramphenicol orally until the fever subsides, then continuing the drug
for an additional day or two. All ticks on the patient's body must be removed and
Normally, the larva, nymph, or adult vector of RMSF (Figure 5-13) crawls up on
tall grass or other vegetation and attaches itself to the fur of an animal or clothing of one
who brushes by.
a. Tick Activity. Within about two hours, often without the host being aware,
the tick attaches itself to the skin and takes a prolonged bloodmeal.
These ticks are extremely hardy and may survive in each stage for more
than a year without obtaining a blood meal.
In hot summer months, the adults may undergo a period of inactivity.
b. Preventive Measures.
Accordingly, large-scale measures directed against tick populations
generally are of little value.
Prevention of RMSF should be based chiefly on avoidance of tick-
infested areas or the use of personal protection measures when avoidance is not