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Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever is a bacterial illness called so because of the unresolved recurrent fever in untreated people.

There are two types:

1) The louse-borne variety is found in areas of poverty with epidemic occurring after natural disasters. There live proliferate in the clothing.
2) The tick-borne variety is found in Africa, Southern Europe, Middle East, Asia, Western U.S.A. and Canada.

The risk for travelers is generally low.

Person to person infections does not occur except by the method of infected body lice infesting people. Symptoms occur after an incubation period of 2-10 days with abruptly starting fevers chills, aches, headaches and profound weakness, which last for about a week.

A remission period then takes place for the duration of one week with no symptoms. Next a relapse period occurs with resumption of symptoms for another week.

Without treatment the cycle continues.

Additionally lymph nodes, liver and spleen may swell and sometimes jaundice and a purpuric rash develop. A cough is also noted.

Each time the fever drops the blood pressure can drop very significantly.

With long lasting disease inflammation of the heart and brain can occur.

Untreated relapsing fever can be very dangerous but it does respond to treatment well. Diagnosis occurs with a blood test.

Treatment with antibiotics must be maintained, as often there will be complications during treatment (the bacteria while dying interact with the medication causing more symptoms).

Relapsing Fever links:


CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no9/03-0280.htm

Doc forgey.com the outdoors doctor http://docforgey.com/knowledge/3e.html