Colorado Tick Fever

04 February 2012

Colorado tick fever (CTF) is a disease caused by an RNA virus, Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV).  

Symptoms, which are oftern non-specific, begin 3 to 5 days after the bite with an abrupt onset of fever and any of these: headaches, chills, malaise, photophobia, myalgias, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.  In 5 to 15%  of cases a rash occurs.  Neurologic complications may also occur.  50% of patients have single recurrence of fever (“saddleback” fever). 

IFA titers for diagnosis. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is the test most often used to diagnose the disease.  
CTF is transmitted by Dermacentor andersoni (Rocky Mt. wood tick) which causes illness from the western Black Hills to the West Coast in the USA.  Some cases of transmission through blood transfusion have been reported. 
Treatment consists of supportive care.

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