Relapsing fever - Symptom
Tick-borne relapsing fever, Louse-borne relapsing fever
- Facial droop
- Joint aches (arthralgia)
- Muscle aches (myalgia)
- Neck stiffness
- Sudden onset of high fever
- Unsteady gait
Signs and tests:
Relapsing fever should be suspected if someone coming from a high-risk area has repeated episodes of fever. This is particularly true if the fever is followed by a "crisis" stage, and if the person may have been exposed to lice or soft-bodied ticks.
Tests that may be done include:
- Blood smear to determine the cause of the infection
- Blood antibody tests, sometimes used but their usefulness is limited
- Reviewed last on: 12/10/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Petri WA. Relapsing fever and other Borrelia infections. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 343.
Rhee KY, Johnson WD Jr. Borrelia species (relapsing fever). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolan R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Orlando, FL: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 241.
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