Tick-borne Relapsing Fever (TBRF)

Relapsing fever is bacterial infection that can cause recurring bouts of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea. There are three types of relapsing fever:

  • Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF)
  • Louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF)
  • Borrelia miyamotoi disease (sometimes called hard tick relapsing fever)

TBRF occurs in the western United States and is usually linked to sleeping in rustic, rodent-infested cabins in the mountains. In Texas, TBRF is frequently linked to cave exposures. LBRF is transmitted by the human body louse and usually occurs in refugee settings in developing parts of the world. Borrelia miyamotoi disease occurs in the same places where Lyme disease is found and is transmitted by the blacklegged tick.