Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever In Arizona

By  Stina Sieg
July 25, 2014

Photo Courtesy of the Arizona Department of Health Services

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever might not sound like an Arizona problem, but it is. The potentially deadly disease is most prevalent here during monsoon season. The illness is spread by tick bites and can result in a fever and sometimes a spotted rash. It can be lethal if left untreated, but is easily fought with antibiotics. Jessica Rigler is with the Arizona Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control. She said it’s critical to not only educate the public but doctors about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

"So they can add this to their index of suspicion when a patient comes in with fever and headache. We really want rapid treatment patients, even when disease is just suspected so that we can prevent any unnecessary deaths," said Rigler.

Rigler says it’s believed that 63 people contracted the disease last year. She when visiting tick-infested areas, it’s best to wear a long shirt and pants – plus insect repellent. If you are bitten by a tick, pull it out with tweezers, close to your skin and its mouth. She said pull it out straight, without twisting.