Caused by a bacteria (either Borrelia hermsii, turicatae, or parkeri) and transmitted by the soft bodied tick, Ornithodoros (either hermsi, turicata, or parkeri). The disease is characterized by recurring episodes (3 days on 7 off) of high fever, can be up to 106.7° during certain phases. Each fever episode is followed by signs/symptoms which may include headache, muscle and joint aches, nausea, chills, arthralgia, vomiting, abdominal pain, dry cough, eye pain, confusion. The diagnosis is by microscopy and treatment may be with tetracycline, erythromycin, or other antibiotics.
The soft bodied ticks which transmit the disease are usually found in the Western US in higher altitudes in old cabins and animal burrows.