Treatment and Prevention of Colorado Tick Fever

Key points

  • There is no specific treatment for Colorado tick fever (CTF); clinical management is supportive.
  • Counsel patients about using personal protective measures to prevent tick bites.
  • Patients with CTF should not donate blood or bone marrow for 6 months after their illness.
Nurse holding a bottle of pills


There is no specific treatment for CTF; clinical management is supportive. Patients with severe symptoms may need to be hospitalized for intravenous fluids and medications to reduce pain and fever.


No CTF virus vaccines are currently available for use in people. In the absence of a vaccine, prevention of CTF depends on personal protective measures to decrease exposure to infected ticks. This includes avoiding wooded and bushy areas with high grass, using repellents to discourage tick attachment, and finding and removing ticks before they have a chance to attach. More information about reducing exposure to ticks is available on the CDC Ticks website.

In addition to tickborne transmission, one case each of transfusion-associated and perinatal transmission of CTF virus has been documented. Because the virus infects erythroid progenitor cells, it likely can be transmitted through bone marrow transplants. People with confirmed CTF virus infections should not donate blood or bone marrow for 6 months after their illness. CTF virus infections temporally associated with blood transfusion or bone marrow transplant should be reported promptly to the appropriate state health department.