Thursday, August 02, 2018 by Ralph Flores
Rickettsial infections (or rickettsiosis) refer to bacterial infections caused by the Rickettsia, Orientia, Ehrlichia, Neorickettsia, Neoehrlichia, and Anaplasma genera. There are two types of infections: the typhus group and the spotted fever group (SFG).
The infection is transmitted to humans by pathogens found in fleas, lice, mites, and ticks – especially during bites, where they inoculate infectious fluids into the skin. The incubation period for most diseases ranges from five to 14 days, with most travelers experiencing symptoms after their trip.
The following are some diseases caused by Rickettsiae genera.
The primary risk factor for rickettsial infections is traveling or living in a place endemic to a disease. In the U.S., almost all areas are known to have Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), but major incident areas include North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
For the most part, males are more likely to be affected by tick-borne rickettsioses, mainly due to greater recreational exposures to tick habitats. On the other hand, females are more resistant to certain spotted fever illnesses (like Q fever) because of the presence of protective female hormones.
Rickettsial infection affect all ages, with some exceptions: RMSF is seen mainly in children aged 15 and younger and Q fever is more prevalent between 30–70 years.
Common symptoms of rickettsial infections include:
In severe infections, gangrene may develop, and liver, spleen, or kidney functions may fail. The person’s blood pressure could fall dangerously low, causing shock. In some cases, this can result in death.
If the infection is identified and addressed early on, complications for rickettsiosis are rare. Still, complications to look out for include:
There are no certain food items that will specifically prevent or relieve rickettsial infections, but some recommended food items to consume while battling an illness include:
Most rickettsial infections are transmitted through tick bites; it is important to properly get rid of a tick bite once it is identified. Some options include:
Rickettsial infections are bacterial infections caused by the Rickettsia, Orientia, Ehrlichia, Neorickettsia, Neoehrlichia, and Anaplasma genera.
Rickettsial infections are classified between the typhus group and the spotted fever group (SFG).
Rickettsial infections are transmitted to humans by pathogens found in fleas, lice, mites, and ticks.
If rickettsial infections are identified and addressed early on, complications are rare.
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