Colorado tick fever
In medicine Colorado Tick Fever is an illness caused by a virus of the Reovirus family carried by small mammals, such as ground squirrels, porcupines, and chipmunks, and by ticks. more...
Anyone who lives or travels in areas of the western United States and Canada at elevations above 5000 feet and who comes in contact with infected ticks, especially Dermacentor andersoni, also known as the wood tick, can get Colorado Tick Fever.
Colorado Tick Fever is acquired by tick bite. There is no evidence of natural person-to-person transmission. However, rare cases of transmission from blood transfusions have been reported. The virus which causes Colorado Tick Fever may stay in the blood for as long as four months after onset of the illness.
The disease causes fever of about 103 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, nausea, and severe headache. These symptoms usually last a few days, go away, and then return for a few days. Sometimes the symptoms include a red, raised rash as well as the desire to avoid sun light.
The symptoms generally begin 4 to 5 days after being bitten by an infected tick.
Ticks should be removed promptly and carefully with tweezers and by applying gentle steady traction. the tick's body should not be crushed when it is removed and and the tweezers should be placed as close to the skin as possible to avoid leaving tick mouth parts in the skin. Ticks should not be removed with bare hands. Hands should be protected by gloves and/or tissues and thoroughly washed with soap and water after the removal process.
To avoid tick bites and infection, experts advise:
- Avoid tick infested areas, especially during the warmer months.
- Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be easily seen. Wear a long sleeved shirt, hat, long pants, and tuck pant legs into socks.
- Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging grass and brush.
- Check your body every few hours for ticks when you spend a lot of time outdoors in tick infested areas. Ticks are most often found on the thigh, arms, underarms and legs. Ticks can be very small (no bigger than a pinhead). Look carefully for new "freckles".
- Use insect repellents containing DEET on your skin or permethrin on clothing. Be sure to follow the directions on the container and wash off repellents when going indoors.
- Remove attached ticks immediately.
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