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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Association between sepsis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  1. Marcelo Rodrigues Bacci,
  2. José Jorge Namura
  1. Department of General Practice, Faculdade De Medicina Do ABC, Santo André, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Professor Marcelo Rodrigues Bacci, mrbacci{at}


Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a disease caused by the Gram-negative coccobacillus Rickettsia ricketsii which has been on the rise since the last decade in the USA. The symptoms are common to the many viral diseases, and the classic triad of fever, rash and headache is not always present when RMSF is diagnosed. It may progress to severe cases such as renal failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation and septicaemia. This report aims to present a fulminant case of RMSF associated with sepsis. It describes a female patient's case that quickly progressed to sepsis and death. The patient showed non-specific symptoms for 5 days before being admitted to a hospital. The fact that she lived in an area highly infested with Amblyomma aureolatum ticks was unknown to the medical staff until the moment she died.

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