Mountain Spotted Fever
Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is a
tick-borne disease characterized by fever, headache, rash, and
thrombocytopenia, and can lead to sepsis, chronic sequelae, and death. From
2009 to 2014, a total of 752 RMSF cases and
79 fatalities were reported
in Mexicali, a Mexican city that borders Imperial County, CA.
Imperial County implemented a project
to test if dogs in the area had previously been exposed to Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae or other tick-borne
pathogens. Serum samples collected at rabies clinics were tested against Rickettsia rickettsi, Ehrlichia
canis and Anaplasma
phagocytophilum. Analysis of test results and the
information given by dog owners via surveys was used to assess the status of
tick-borne diseases in the region.
County could be at risk of transmission
of imported spotted fever group rickettsiae
to resident ticks. Adequate tick
prevention and continued surveillance of tick-borne pathogens can help prevent
the spread of RMSF and other diseases in this dynamic border region.