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September 1978

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in an Infant: Diagnosis in Siblings

Author Affiliations

Section of Infectious Diseases Department of Pediatrics Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI 53233; Department of Pediatrics Milwaukee Children's Hospital Milwaukee, WI 53233

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(9):928-929. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120340104023

The incidence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in the United States has been increasing over the past 15 years.1 This disease had noticeable seasonal and geographic predilection, being most prevalent in the spring and summer and in the southeastern United States.1 About 70% of the cases occur in children 3 to 15 years of age.2 The purpose of this report is to describe two siblings with the disease, which was diagnosed in an nonendemic area, Wisconsin. The younger sibling, a 6-month-old, contracted the disease in infancy, an event infrequently recorded but apparently associated with marked morbidity and mortality.3-5

Report of Cases. —Case 1.—In May 1977, this 6-month-old male infant visited relatives in northern Mississippi. Twelve days before admission, fever and a generalized maculopapular rash developed. He was exposed to a neighbor's dog known to have ticks, but had no known tick bites. He slept