Archive for the ‘Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever’ Category

North Central Integrated Pest Alert


They have the following for ticks and specific diseases:


Kentucky: More Than Two Dozen Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Cases Reported in Grayson County

Kentucky: More than two dozen Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases reported in Grayson County

July 22, 2019

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in Grayson County, Kentucky are reporting a recent increase in cases of the tickborne disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).

Characteristic spotted rash of Rocky Mountain spotted fever/CDC








They report receiving 26 cases of RMSF since July 7, 2019.

Dr. Bryce Meredith made the following statement, “We are seeing an increase in tick-borne illnesses in Grayson and the surrounding counties. Individuals should have heightened awareness regarding ticks in our area. The most common illnesses are Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.”

RMSF is a tick borne disease caused by the organism, Rickettsia rickettsii. Typically, the progress of the disease is a sudden onset of high fever, deep muscle pain, severe headache and chills. A rash usually appears on the extremities within 5 days then soon spreads to palms and soles and then rapidly to the trunk.

Fatalities can be seen in greater than 20% of untreated cases. Death is uncommon with prompt recognition and treatment. Still approximately 3-5% of cases seen in the U.S. are fatal. The absence or delayed appearance of the typical rash or the failure to recognize it, especially in dark-skinned people cause a delay in diagnosis and increased fatalities.

Early stages of RMSF can be confused with erlichiosis, meningococcal meningitis and enteroviral infection.

They are asking residents to ensure they are protecting their family, pets, and yourselves properly while outdoors.

If you find a tick, please remove it appropriately. Also, if you feel fatigued (tired) or having a headache that will not go away, consider seeing your family healthcare provider for tick borne illness testing.

Dr Meredith said, “Ticks are commonly in woods, grassy, or bushy areas. If individuals are planning on being in these areas, they should plan accordingly and wear long sleeves, long pants tucked into your socks, and use an EPA approved insect and tick repellent. Once an individual has returned inside, they should check their clothes and body for ticks. Early awareness and early tick removal is particularly important. Typically, if an individual removes a tick within 24-48 hours, this decreases the rate of disease transmission. I encourage individuals to contact their physician if a tick has been attached for an undetermined time or if they develop fever, rash, chills, or vague symptoms such as new onset unexplained dizziness or excessive fatigue.”

RMSF & the importance of timely treatment: Outbreak News Interviews
Do not hesitate to use doxycycline in children. New research demonstrates it will NOT hurt children’s teeth.


For more:  Please note the last quote of the story – that they proved a tropical form of tick typhus in one of tropical ticks found in Germany. Typhus, a bacteria, is making a comeback, particularly in the South. Common in the U.S. in the 40’s, and normally attributed to lice, now it’s been proven to be in a tick. In other words, another disease and a tick found where they supposedly shouldn’t be.
Typus is a rickettsial infection with ticks carring numerous species including rickettsia, ehrlichia, and anaplasma. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is also considered a tick-borne typhus fever. Divided into the typhus group and the spotted fever group, disease is transmitted through ectoparasites (fleas, lice, mites, and ticks). Inhalation and inoculating conjunctiva with infectious material can also cause disease. The good news for most is that doxycycline is a front-line drug for it. Broad-spectrum antibiotics aren’t helpful.


If interested:







FREE Tick Testing – Adds Bartonella Pathogen Assay

Ask the Vet: Lyme Not Only Issue With Ticks

Ask the Vet: Lyme not only issue with ticks

By now my overall distaste for ticks is well known and their ability to spread diseases to people and pets is disturbingly diverse.

Lyme disease deservedly gets the bulk of the attention, but some less well known diseases can infect your dog via a tick bite and the warm, wet spring is creating a perfect environment for ticks to reproduce and spread disease.

Anaplasmosis is a bacterial disease similar to Lyme disease and is transmitted by the same species of tick, so often dogs may be infected with Anaplasma as well as the Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

The symptoms are generally less severe than Lyme disease and are associated with a low number of blood platelets that assist in blood clotting, so bleeding disorders may be seen.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is one of the more widespread tick-borne diseases in the United States, often contradicting its limited geographic name. It is spread by multiple species of ticks, which explains its extended range. RMSF is also unique in that is can be transmitted very quickly after the tick bites your dog.

Joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes and inflammation of blood vessels, called vasculitis, are typical symptoms associated with RMSF.

Babesiosis has seen a resurgence in recent years and is somewhat unique among disease that are tick-borne in that it can be spread via a tick bite but also through contaminated blood. “Pit bull”-type breeds are susceptible to Babesia infections and with their well-deserved increasing popularity as pets (including my own), the incidence of this infection is increasing. The infection causes bursting of red blood cells, called hemolysis. When the severity of the hemolysis increases, the body can’t keep up and the skin and gums may take on a yellow appearance, or jaundice.

As an infected dog becomes more anemic from the loss of red blood cells, they maybe lethargic or have trouble breathing. If severe, a blood transfusion may be needed. The fact that this can be transmitted through infected blood products is why dogs are now screened for this disease if they participate in a blood donor program.

While this is only a partial list of the less common tick-borne infection that are being spread, it reminds us that those awful, little eight-legged creatures are out there and protection and prevention are still the best option for you and your dog.

Questions for Dr. Gary Thompson can be emailed to or mailed to The Blade, Attn. Ask the Vet, 541 N. Superior St. Toledo, OH., 43660. Dr. Thompson regrets that he cannot answer individual letters.


For more:


Dogs Help Spread a Dangerous Tick-Borne Disease (RMSF)


May 30, 2019
By Amy Quinton-UC Davis
(Credit: Erik B/Flickr)

New research examines risk factors for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, one of the deadliest tick-borne diseases in the Americas, in Mexicali, Mexico.

In Mexicali, an uncontrolled epidemic of Rocky Mountain spotted fever has affected more than 1,000 people since 2008.

Researchers examined dogs, ticks, and surveyed households in 200 neighborhoods. Half of the neighborhoods in the study had diagnosed human cases of the disease. The team discovered that even though citywide only one in 1,000 ticks were infected, there were neighborhoods at very high risk where almost one in 10 ticks were infected.

“If you live in one of these high-risk neighborhoods and you get five brown dog tick bites, that means you have a pretty good chance of being exposed to Rocky Mountain spotted fever,” says lead author Janet Foley, with the department of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

The brown dog tick, which feeds on dogs and people, spreads Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The insect thrives in hot, arid climates. Previous studies have shown that poverty, numerous stray dogs, and brown dog ticks increased the risk of getting Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In Mexicali, risks were higher along the edges of poorer neighborhoods or outside of the city in rural areas.

Half of the 284 dogs the researchers examined were infested with ticks. Some dogs carried thousands of ticks.

Almost three-quarters of the dogs we tested had been infected with the agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever at some point in their life,” says Foley. “That’s astronomical.”

People with Rocky Mountain spotted fever typically develop symptoms one to two weeks after an infected tick bites them. They can develop fever, nausea, headache, and muscle pain. As the bacteria infect blood vessel linings, blood begins to pool under the skin, resulting in a rash that can look like red splotches or spots. The longer people wait before seeing a doctor and starting treatment with antibiotics, the greater the chance of death.

The study, which appears in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, also gauged people’s knowledge about Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It found 80 percent of residents had heard of the disease, but fewer than half used pesticides to prevent bites.

Foley says a Rocky Mountain spotted fever epidemic on the scale of that in Mexicali is not as likely in the United States as long as dog ticks are well managed. But as temperatures warm with climate change, there are concerns that the particular human-feeding brown dog tick strain will continue to move north, resulting in more human cases. Some studies have suggested the hotter it gets, the more active and aggressive the ticks become.

The binational research team included academic researchers, health workers, epidemiologists, veterinarians, agency officials, medical doctors and students, who aided in the need to communicate in Spanish and English, address canine and human disease, understand fundamental epidemiological patterns, and protect public health. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Autonomous University of Baja California funded the work.

Source: UC Davis


Ticks are marvelous ecoadaptors and can survive anything. Climate change has been disproven regarding tick proliferation and the spread of Lyme/MSIDS:

“For blacklegged ticks, climate change is an apocryphal issue.” – John Scott M.Sc. Research Scientist
“The comments that an increase in tick numbers is ‘spurred on by climate change’ is strictly bias; this point is clearly unfounded.” John Scott

Why are we STILL talking about climate change?


For an excellent interview with John Scott: (He also explains the bogus Lyme vaccine as well)


Septic Shock Caused by RMSF in Suburban Texas Patient With Pet Dog Exposure: A Case Report

. 2018; 19: 917–919.
Published online 2018 Aug 4. doi: 10.12659/AJCR.909636
PMCID: PMC6091339
PMID: 30076285

Septic Shock Caused by Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a Suburban Texas Patient with Pet Dog Exposure: A Case Report


Patient: Female, 45

Final Diagnosis: Rocky mountain spotted fever

Symptoms: Altered mental state • ataxia • dyspnea • fever • headache


Unusual clinical course


Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is associated with high mortality and requires prompt identification and treatment to ensure better outcomes.

Case Report:

We describe an advanced case of RMSF in a 45-year-old female patient with pet dog exposure who presented with altered mental status, dyspnea, and ataxia progressing to septic shock and acute hypoxic respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation.


This case illustrates the importance of keeping RMSF in the differential diagnosis in patient populations outside of the usual geographic areas of incidence in the appropriate clinical setting.



This is what can happen when diagnosis is delayed.

This woman that lived in the suburbs had a 7-day history of fevers associated with headache, arthralgias, nausea, fatigue, and neck pain, but did NOT have the tell-tale blotchy RMSF rash.

Two days later, she worsened with confusion, combativeness, dyspnea, and ataxia. She got multiple recent bug bites from her pet dogs sleeping in her bed. The dogs were not up to date on flea and tick medication but were healthy and showed no sign of illness.
  • Rule #1:  Do NOT sleep with pets.  The risk is too great.
  • Rule #2:  If you choose to have pets, make sure you treat them if they go outdoors.  The risk is too great.
  • Rule #3:  Doctors need to start treating this plague with the respect it deserves and frankly should keep it in the back of their minds AT ALL TIMES.
Positive findings were R. typhi IgM 1: 1024 (normal <1: 64), R. Rickettsii IgM 1: 1024 (normal <1: 64), IgG 1: 128 (normal <1: 64), and echovirus Ab 1: 80 titer (normal <1: 80). The Rickettsial titers were repeated for possible cross-reactivity and R. typhi antibodies were noted to be negative (<1: 64).
Although R.typhi was ruled out due to cross-reactivity, I believe we will start seeing more of this strain in the future.
The patient improved on doxycycline, the drug of choice for RMSF and was discharged.
Why isn’t there a full-out media blitz on this like there was on Zika?

Going Outside? Watch Out For Asian Longhorned Tick Now in Kentucky–510400381.html  News Story in Link

Going outside? Watch out for unusual tick found in Eastern Kentucky

By WYMT News Staff

MARTIN COUNTY, KY. (WAVE) – It’s Memorial Day weekend and more people will head outside as the summer season kicks off. While you’re out having fun, be sure to keep an eye out for a tick that is new to the area.

This year’s tick season is different in Kentucky because a new tick has popped up in our area.

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has received more calls about seeing ticks, but reports that incidents of tick-borne diseases in the state are very low.

People still need to use precautions because ticks are out there. They’re looking to suck blood three times in their lives in order to reproduce. This year’s tick season is different in Kentucky because a new tick has popped up in our area.

“The most common ticks we have are the Lone Star Ticks and the American Dog Tick,” Spencer County Agriculture agent Bryce Roberts said. “The new one we found is the Asian Longhorned Tick.”

Roberts said the Asian Longhorned Tick was found in Eastern Kentucky, in Martin County.

It’s very concerning because of the diseases they do carry,” Roberts said.

New ticks bring new diseases. Before or when someone gets a tick disease, they see epidemiologist Dr. Paul Schulz.

“The two we encounter the most are Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever,” Schulz said.

Schulz said the infectious disease department at Norton Healthcare found its first tick-borne disease of the year in March, a sign that tick season could be starting early.

“(In) well over 50 percent of diagnosed infections, the patient didn’t know they had tick exposure,” Schulz said.

People often don’t see or feel when a tick is biting them. However, there are ways to protect yourself and your summer experience: Cover up as much of your skin as you can, use a spray with DEET, avoid overgrown wooded areas, check yourself and your children every night.


For more: this tick exists, it is an important vector of human and animal disease agents. In China and Japan, it transmits the severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), which causes a human hemorrhagic fever (2), and Rickettsia japonica, which causes Japanese spotted fever (3). Studies in Asia identified ticks infected with various species of Anaplasma, Babesia, Borrelia, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia, and all of these pathogen groups circulate zoonotically in the United States (4,5). In addition, parthenogenetic reproduction, a biologic characteristic of this species, allows a single introduced female tick to generate progeny without mating, thus resulting in massive host infestations.


Authorities have been relatively mum on what this tick transmits and I’ve had to dig to find it.  So far there are no noted human illnesses caused by this tick in the U.S., but the ones listed above have occurred other countries.  Do they really think this tick isn’t going to acquire disease and transmit here?  Maybe in an alternative reality, but then again, the CDC lives in an alternative reality.