Causes and Complications of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Encephalitis

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Encephalitis is a serious inflammation of the brain, and it is one of the many complications of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Symptoms of encephalitis begin with a headache, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue. As the condition worsens, patients may experience seizures, hallucinations, confusion, speech and hearing difficulties, and loss of sensation in certain areas of the body. Eventually, encephalitis may result in loss of consciousness. MRI scans and CT scans can be used to diagnose encephalitis. When caused by Rocky Mountain spotted fever, treatment for encephalitis is provided at the same time as treatment for the tickborne infection. Bed rest, intravenous fluids, anti-inflammatory medication, anticonvulsants, and breathing assistance (ventilation) may all be used.

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