Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever May Be Spreading
In Recent Years, 16 Arizona Cases Linked to Tick-Infested Dogs
Redrawing the Map
"No longer can we consider Rocky Mountain spotted fever a disease of only rural and southern venues," write J. Stephen Dumler, MD, and colleagues.
They didn't work on Demma's study. Instead, they wrote an editorial about it for The New England Journal of Medicine.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever tends to wax and wane over the years, and it's in the middle of its third emergence since 1920, writes Dumler, an associate professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins University's medical school.
The CDC makes these recommendations for personal protection against tick bites when a person is in an area that increases their expose to ticks:
- Wear light-colored clothing, allows you to see ticks that are crawling on your clothing.
- Tuck your pant legs into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl inside your pant legs.
- Apply repellents to discourage tick attachment. Repellents containing permethrin can be sprayed on boots and clothing and will last for several days. Repellents containing DEET can be applied to the skin but will last only a few hours before reapplication is necessary. Use DEET with caution on children. Application of large amounts of DEET on children has been associated with adverse reactions.
- Conduct a body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas by searching your entire body for ticks. Use a handheld or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Remove any tick you find on your body.
- Parents should check their children for ticks, especially in the hair, when returning from potentially tick-infested areas. Ticks may also be carried into the household on clothing and pets and only attach later, so both should be examined carefully to exclude ticks.