Rapid Review: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - RoshReview.com

Rapid Review: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

August 28, 2017

Reviewed February 2024

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)

  • History of recently being in the woods, hiking, or camping
  • Abrupt onset of severe headache, photophobia, vomiting, diarrhea, and myalgia
  • PE will show maculopapular eruption on palms and soles
  • Most commonly caused by Rickettsia rickettsii
  • Empiric treatment based on clinical presentation
  • Diagnosis confirmed by serologic testing
  • Treatment is ALWAYS doxycycline, even in children

Sample question:

A 19-year-old woman presents with 4 days of high fever, headache, and myalgias. She also developed a blanching erythematous rash with macules on her wrists and ankles that spread to her trunk. She reports no history of distant travel but was camping at a local state park in North Carolina, USA last weekend. Which of the following is the most appropriate treatment?

By Yehuda Wolf, MPA, PA-C

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