Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - Petechial Rash

Petechial Rash on the palm of my hand from RMSF

Today, it has been 3 years since I recovered from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or RMSF – a disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a species of bacteria that is spread by hard ticks. On one hand, it is kind of cool that I had contracted a relatively rare and almost exotic disease (only ~800 reported cases per year), on the other, I had a very good chance of dying (>30%) because I was never treated for RMSF with antibiotics.

I was traveling when I got the first symptoms so I took huge loads of painkillers to stop the headache and the muscle pain . The petechial rash spread out from my hands and ankles to the rest of the body sparing only the head. The headaches were unbearable and so intense that caused hallucinations of some sort; my extremities were swollen from the rash so that I could not properly walk, plus, there was a bouquet of other “beautiful” symptoms such as vomiting and fever.

This torture lasted for about a week. I went to see a doctor only after I began to feel better and only because I developed a complication – half of my face got paralyzed. To spare you a long and scary story, in the end, everything turned out ok, and even my facial muscles recovered after a few months .

Too bad, after all of these sufferings my case never got reported to CDC because I was not treated by the US physician. What a waste! RMSF spoiled my vacation and I didn’t even get a credit for being sick, it is not fair!

I found this PDF form on CDC’s website, do you think I could fill it out myself and mail to them?

Check out the petechial rash on my feet caused by bleeding underneath the skin:

Petechial Rash

Petechial rash of my feet. Day 3

And here is what my foot looked like a month after all that bleeding under the skin:dead skin peeling off the bottom of my feet