Signs and Symptoms
Figure 1. Eschar at site of tick or mite bite
The first sign of many spotted fevers (including Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, Pacific Coast tick fever, or rickettsialpox) is generally a dark scab at the site of tick or mite bite, known as an eschar. Eschars usually develop a few days to a week following the bite of an infected tick or mite.
Several days after an eschar develops, patients can develop other signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches
R. parkeri rickettsiosis, Pacific Coast tick fever, and rickettsialpox are less severe than RMSF; however, it can be difficult to distinguish between RMSF and other spotted fevers, especially during early stages of these diseases. Ticks are typically found in grassy or wooded environments. See your health care provider if you become ill after having been bitten by a tick, or having spent time in areas where ticks may live. Rickettsialpox is spread by mites carried by the common house mouse. Be sure to mention any time spent in areas where mice may be found.