Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain and fever adults pain and fever children warning signs Prevention tick removal Complications Underlying Cause Transmission

Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain Prevention

Prevention of Rocky Mountain spotted fever includes:

  • Avoid wooded areas where deer ticks live.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and pants, and a hat.
    • Wear insect repellent clothing.
  • Use tick repellents on clothing and exposed skin.
    • Tick repellents that contain DEET
    • Tick repellents that contain permethrin
  • Check your skin and clothing for ticks after being outdoors.
    • Shower after going into the woods.
  • See your doctor within 4 hours if you are unable to completely remove a tick from the skin.
  • Treat pets for fleas and ticks.

Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain Tick Removal

Ticks usually require about 36 hours of attachment to the skin, in order to transmit bacteria from their bodies, causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

A tick can be removed safely by performing the following:

  • Grasp the neck or head of the tick with tweezers. Do not squeeze the body.
  • Pull slowly, and straight out. Do not twist the head.
  • Remove remaining mouth parts by cleaning with alcohol and scraping with a knife or blade or a sterile needle.
  • Clean the wound with soap and water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • See a doctor within 24 hours if you cannot remove a tick.

Continue to Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain Complications

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Spotted Fever Rocky Mountain References
  1. Bratton RL, Corey R. Tick-borne disease. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jun 15;71(12):2323-30. [15999870]
  2. Cale DF, McCarthy MW. Treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children. Ann Pharmacother. 1997 Apr;31(4):492-4. [9101014]
  3. Chapman AS, Bakken JS, Folk SM, et al. Tickborne Rickettsial Diseases Working Group; CDC. Diagnosis and management of tickborne rickettsial diseases: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichioses, and anaplasmosis--United States: a practical guide for physicians and other health-care and public health professionals. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2006 Mar 31;55(RR-4):1-27. [16572105]
  4. Purvis JJ, Edwards MS. Doxycycline use for rickettsial disease in pediatric patients. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Sep;19(9):871-4. [11001111]
  5. Sexton DJ, Kaye KS. Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a clinician's dilemma. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Apr 14;163(7):769-74. [12695267]
  6. Treadwell TA, Holman RC, Clarke MJ, Krebs JW, Paddock CD, Childs JE. Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the United States, 1993-1996. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2000 Jul-Aug;63(1-2):21-6. [11357990]
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