Colorado tick fever : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Mountain tick fever, Mountain fever, American mountain fever

Definition

Colorado tick fever is an acute viral infection spread by the bite of the Dermacentor andersoni (wood) tick.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

This disease is usually seen between March and September. Most cases occur in April, May, and June.

Risk factors are recent outdoor activity and recent tick bite.

Colorado tick fever is seen most often in Colorado. Up to 15% of campers have been exposed to the virus that causes the disease. The disease is much less common in the rest of the United States.

Pictures & Images

Deer ticks

Diseases are often carried by ticks, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Lyme disease, and tularemia. Less common or less frequent diseases include typhus, Q-fever, relapsing fever, viral encephalitis, hemorrhagic fever, and babesiosis.

Ticks

Ticks

There are many species of ticks. Of these, a large proportion are capable of carrying disease. Diseases carried by ticks include Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, tularemia, typhus, hemorrhagic fever, and viral encephalitis. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Tick imbedded in the skin

Tick imbedded in the skin

This is a close-up photograph of a tick embedded in the skin. Ticks are important because they can carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, and others.

Antibodies

Antibodies

Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.


Review Date : 9/28/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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