Rickettsialpox is a disease spread by a mite. It causes a chickenpox-like rash on the body.
Rickettsialpox is caused by the bacteria, Rickettsia akari. It is commonly found in the United States in New York City and other city areas. It also has been seen in Europe, South Africa, Korea, and Russia.
The bacteria are spread by the bite of a mite that lives on mice.
The disease begins at the site of the mite bite as a painless, firm, red lump (nodule). The nodule develops into a fluid-filled blister that bursts and crusts over. This lump may be up to 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wide. These lumps usually appear on the face, trunk, arms, and legs. They do not appear on the palms of hands and soles of feet. Symptoms usually develop 6 to 15 days after coming in contact with the bacteria.
Other symptoms may include:
The rash is not painful and usually clears within a week.
The goal of treatment is to cure the infection by taking antibiotics. Doxycycline is the drug of choice. Treatment with antibiotics shortens the duration of symptoms usually to 24 to 48 hours.
Without treatment, the disease resolves itself within 7 to 10 days.
Gerardo Alvarez-Hernandez is in Hermosillo, Mexico. Alvarez-Hernandez is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Rickettsialpox. He is also highly rated in 5 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Rickettsialpox, Spotted Fever, and Colorado Tick Fever.
Marcelo Labruna is in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Labruna is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Rickettsialpox. He is also highly rated in 12 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Spotted Fever, Rickettsialpox, and Relapsing Fever.
Ivan Baltadzhiev is in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Baltadzhiev is rated as a Distinguished expert by MediFind in the treatment of Rickettsialpox. He is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Rickettsialpox, Spotted Fever, Eschar, and Parapsoriasis.
A full recovery is expected when antibiotics are taken as instructed.
There are usually no complications if the infection is treated.
Call your provider if you or your child has symptoms of rickettsialpox.
Controlling mice helps prevent the spread of rickettsialpox.
Published Date : August 29, 2020
Published By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Elston DM. Bacterial and rickettsial diseases. In: Callen JP, Jorizzo JL, Zone JJ, Piette WW, Rosenbach MA, Vleugels RA, eds. Dermatological Signs of Systemic Disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 32.
Fournier P-E, Raoult D. Rickettsia akari (Rickettsialpox). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 187.