To the Editor.—In the December issue of the Journal (126:779, 1973), McReynolds and Roy emphasize the early diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever so that antibiotic therapy may be instituted prior to the onset of serious, life-threatening complications. I would like to stress, as do others,1 that specific antibiotic therapy may have to be begun before the development of any rash, especially if the patient lives (or has traveled recently in) an endemic area and gives a history of tick bites.
Such tetracycline therapy, in a seriously ill individual, may fortuitously prove beneficial for other tick-borne diseases such as tularemia.2 However, in the case of some tick-borne diseases (Table1,3-10), this antibiotic therapy would be of no benefit at all.
SZALAY GC. Tick-Borne Disease. Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(6):909. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110250135023