Florida 11/07/09 examiner.com: A 52 year old Sarasota man recently contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) while clearing brush, but has since fully recovered. This is the first case of RMSF seen in Sarasota County since 2005. RMSF is a tick borne disease caused by the organism, Rickettsia rickettsii. The most common vector is the American Dog Tick, also known as the Wood Tick. Typically, the
progress of the disease is a sudden onset of high fever, deep muscle pain, severe headache and chills. A rash usually appears on the extremities within 5 days then spreads to the palms, soles and finally the torso. Fatalities have been seen in more than 20% of untreated cases. Death is uncommon with prompt recognition and treatment. Still approximately 3-5% of cases seen in the U.S. are fatal.