Colorado Tick Fever


Colorado tick fever (known as CTF) is a disease that is spread by Rocky Mountain wood ticks. This disease is usually found in the western USA and Canada. Ticks are parasitic arachnids that feed on blood, most of them carry diseases.


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Rocky Mountain wood tick


The ticks are often hide in low shrubs or climb to tops of grass, trying to find and attach to a host. Once attached to human or animal skin, they produce a sticky, cement-like substance from their mouths to fasten themselves. Then, they start to suck blood from the host, exchanging the disease in the process.

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A tick after a meal
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A CTF cell


What are the symptoms of CTF? How is CTF transmitted?



Symptoms of CTF include fever, rashes, muscle pain, chills, sensitively to light (photophobia) and headaches. Left untreated, CTF will increase in severity but not enough to be fatal. CTF usually lasts 5 to 10 days, but it can stay in the blood for 4 months after the host has been cured.

So far, there has been no cases of person-to-person transmission. However, people can contact CTF from biological labs or in an incident, a blood transfusion from a donor with CTF infected the recipient.


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CTF often causes rashes
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Scabs generally appear after the sickness


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How to cure CTF?


There are a number of ways to cure CTF. First, doctors have to remove all the ticks from the host’s skin using tweezers. Then, medications are needed to combat the fever and pain. But CTF mainly goes away on its own.


To prevent CTF, spray insect repellent and wear loose long-sleeved shirts and trousers when hiking mountains. But the best prevention is to stay away from tick-infested places from March to September.





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Bibliography


Wikipedia
Colorado Tick Fever
Retrieved on 25 August, 2010, on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_tick_fever


MedlinePlus
Colorado Tick Fever
Retrieved on 25 August, 2010, on http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000675.htm


Oregon
Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention
Retrieved on 25 August, 2010, on http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/acd/diseases/ctf/facts.shtml

Wikipedia
Tick
Retrieved on 29 August, 2010, on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tick

Youtube
How to remove a tick
Retrieved on 31 August, 2010, on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wotB38WrRY

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