Rare Gastroenterology News

Disease Profile

Rocky mountain spotted fever

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.


Age of onset

All ages





Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.


Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)



Bacterial infections


Rocky Mountain spotted fever refers to an infection caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsia. This particular bacterium is carried by certain species of ticks and spread to humans through the bites of infected ticks. Signs and symptoms of the condition generally develop approximately 2 to 14 days following the tick bite and may include fever, rash, headache, muscle pain, chills, and/or confusion. Some affected people may also experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, hallucinations, and/or excessive thirst. Most cases occur in the spring and summer and are found in children. Risk factors for developing the condition include recent hiking or exposure to ticks in an area where the disease is known to occur. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is typically treated with antibiotics (such as doxycycline or tetracycline).[1][2][3]

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • You can obtain information on this topic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.
  • Mayo Clinic has an information page on Rocky mountain spotted fever.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In-Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Rocky mountain spotted fever. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.


  1. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. November 2013; https://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/index.html.
  2. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. MedlinePlus. May 2015; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000654.htm.
  3. Burke A Cunha, MD. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Medscape Reference. October 2015; https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/228042-overview.