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ISSN: 2161-0517
Virology & Mycology

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Colorado Tick Fever: a Mini Review

Steve Paul*

Department of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary, Canada

*Corresponding Author:
Steve Paul
Department of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
University of Calgary, Calgary
AB T2N 1N4, Alberta, Canada
Tel: +1-654-856-9545
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 17, 2013; Accepted date: August 08, 2013; Published date: August 12, 2013

Citation: Paul S (2013) Colorado Tick Fever: a Mini Review. Virol Mycol 2:118. doi:10.4172/2161-0517.1000118

Copyright: © 2013 Paul S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Colorado Tick Fever (CTF), which is also known as American mountain fever or Mountain tick fever, is a viral disease that caused by infection with the Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV). The Colorado tick fever virus is a member of the Coltivirus genera. The bite of an infected adult wood tick will commonly cause the CTF to humans. There is no evidence of natural person-to-person transmission, but rare cases of transmission by blood transfusion can be seen.

The non-specific nature of the symptoms is the reason for the complication in diagnosis of persons with CTF. Infected persons will experience fever, headache, muscular, chills, and skeletal pain, and malaise. These signs and symptoms can be confused with other infectious and non-infectious diseases. A petechial (spotted) rash occurs in 5-12% of CTF cases.

Depending on the patient’s age and general health the clinical manifestations of CTF can be ranged from mild to life-threatening. The initial symptoms of CTF usually occur within 3-7 days after a tick bite, although the incubation period can be as long as 20 days. The first symptoms of the disease will include fever, headache, muscular and skeletal pain, chills, and malaise. The other symptoms may include vomiting, stomach pain, nausea, light sensitivity and sore throat. Almost half of all patients will experience a two-staged “saddleback” fever that is characterized by 2 to 3 days of acute fever which is followed by a brief remission of the fever, along with a second acute fever that may be more harmful than the first. In very rare cases, the patients will experience the illnesses of the Central Nervous System (CNS) ranging from mild to encephalitis with coma and death.

Based on the patient’s signs and symptoms and confirmation depends on laboratory testing the initial diagnosis will be done. The absence of a hemorrhagic rash and the appearance of a saddleback fever common to Rocky Mountain spotted fever are clinical indicators of CTF. Leukopenia, is the decrease in the number of circulating white blood cells and is the most common laboratory finding in CTF. The immunoflourescent staining of blood smears are used to identify CTFV antigens, however using PCR, confirmed diagnosis can be made.


There is no specific treatment for CTF. Treatment for the CTF includes treatment of fever and pain with acetaminophen and analgesics along with standard infection control procedures.

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