The boy felt the first symptoms in early September. At the time, he was admitted to the Hospital das Clínicas Nossa Senhora da Conceição, in Três Rios (RJ). Two days later, the child died.
Since then, the case has been investigated. The diagnosis was confirmed by means of the PCR test, which allows the detection of the presence of the genetic material of the bacterium.
According to the city hall, this was the first case of spotted fever confirmed in the municipality in five years – the last one was in October 2017.
The Health Department reported that, one day after the death was confirmed, an Environmental Surveillance team visited the boy’s house, where he probably became infected, and carried out chemical treatment in the area.
On the same day, Health Surveillance agents carried out a home visit to the victim’s relatives and provided information about the disease.
To g1, the city government informed that, so far, no other family member has been infected with the disease and that there is no other suspected case in the city.
In a note, the city of Sapucaia informed that, in April of this year, a chemical treatment had already been carried out in the same place where the boy lived, as well as a work to raise awareness about the disease with the population.
The prefecture also said that the entire primary and emergency care team carried out training for the diagnosis and treatment of spotted fever. The intention is that awareness-raising work will also be carried out in schools in the municipality.
This year, the Health Department of Valença (RJ) also confirmed in early August, the death of a 56-year-old man due to complications from spotted fever.
The death occurred at the end of July, at the Teaching Hospital. The man was a resident of the Barão de Juparanã district. He worked as a retiree on a rural property.
According to the prefecture, the suspicion is that he contracted the disease at work.
In this report you will find out:
- What is spotted fever?
- What are the symptoms?
- How is she diagnosed?
- How is the treatment?
- How to protect yourself?
What is spotted fever?
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an acute, febrile, infectious disease of varying severity. It can range from mild and atypical clinical forms to severe forms, with a high fatality rate. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by a bacterium of the Rickettsia genus, transmitted by tick bites.
- intense headache
- Diarrhea and abdominal pain
- constant muscle pain
- Swelling and redness in the palms and soles of the feet
- Gangrene in the fingers and ears
- Paralysis of the limbs that starts in the legs and goes up to the lungs causing respiratory arrest
In addition, with the evolution of spotted fever, it is red spots are common on the wrists and ankles, which do not itch, but which may increase towards the palms of the hands, arms or soles of the feet.
How is she diagnosed?
Timely diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is very difficult, especially during the first few days of illness, given that the symptoms are also similar to other diseases, such as leptospirosis, dengue, viral hepatitis, salmonellosis, encephalitis, malaria, meningitis, measles, lupus. and pneumonia.
However, the doctor will evaluate the symptoms and ask where you live or if you have been in woods, forests, farms, ecological trails, where you may have been bitten by a tick, he may also order a series of tests to confirm or contribute with the diagnosis.
The results of these tests can take weeks. Therefore, if there is suspicion, the doctor should start treatment with antibiotics urgently, considering that the earlier the therapy is started, the greater the chances of avoiding complications and death of the patient.
Timely treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever is essential to prevent more severe forms of the disease and even death of the person. As soon as the first symptoms appear, it is important to look for a health unit for medical evaluation. Treatment is with a specific antibiotic. In certain cases, hospitalization of the person may be necessary.
The therapy is used for a period of 7 days and should be maintained for 3 days after the fever has ended. The lack or delay in the treatment of spotted fever can aggravate the case and lead to death.
- Wear light clothing to help identify the tick as it is dark
- Wear pants, boots, and long-sleeved shirts when walking in wooded and grassy areas
- Avoid walking in places with grass or tall vegetation
- Use insect repellents
- Check if you and your pets have ticks
- If you find a tick attached to the body, remove it with tweezers.
- Do not squeeze or crush the tick, but pull gently and firmly. After removing the entire tick, wash the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- The faster the ticks are removed from the body, the lower the risk of contracting the disease. After use, place all clothing items in boiling water to remove insects.