Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever


RMFS a cocci bacteria that must live inside of a cell. A RMFS bacteria is about 0.2 to 0.3 µm wide.

Scientific Name: Rickettsia prowazekii

How the Organism Attacks and Spreads

It is carried by ticks and when the ticks bite a human the bacteria attacks the veins that line the bone.

Most Common Victims

Mostly people working directly with livestock or meat producing industries. Males, Native Americans, and people over the age of 40 are at the highest risk of infection.

Most Common Area to be Found

The symptoms are most likely to appear as a rash on the skin.


Can cause typhus, fevers, headaches, abdominal pain, vomiting, and muscle pain.

The Degree of Damage Caused

Can be a very severe and painful rash all over the body.

Outbreaks Per Year

6 people per million are infected with RMFS every year.


The use of doxycycline is most effective if the treatment begins in the first 5 days of symptoms.

Other Identifying Characteristics

RMFS is an obligate intracellular bacterium of the rickettsiaeae family.