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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Septic Shock Caused by Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a Suburban Texas Patient with Pet Dog Exposure: A Case Report

Unusual clinical course, Mistake in diagnosis, Unusual setting of medical care

Courtney Hatcher, Brian Karahalios, Manjulatha Badam

USA Department of Internal Medicine, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:917-919

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.909636

Available online:

Published: 2018-08-04

BACKGROUND: Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is associated with high mortality and requires prompt identification and treatment to ensure better outcomes.
CASE REPORT: We describe an advanced case of RMSF in a 45-year-old female patient with pet dog exposure who presented with altered mental status, dyspnea, and ataxia progressing to septic shock and acute hypoxic respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation.
CONCLUSIONS: This case illustrates the importance of keeping RMSF in the differential diagnosis in patient populations outside of the usual geographic areas of incidence in the appropriate clinical setting.

Keywords: Dermacentor, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick-Borne Diseases