Colorado tick fever is an illness caused by a virus
carried by small mammals, such as ground squirrels,
porcupines and chipmunks, and transmitted through
the bite of a tick.
Who gets Colorado tick fever?
Anyone can get Colorado tick fever who lives or
travels in areas of the western United States and
Canada at elevations above 5,000 feet and who comes in contact with infected ticks, especially Dermacentor Anderson.
Colorado tick fever is carried
by small mammals and
transmitted through the
bite of a tick.
How is Colorado tick fever spread?
People get Colorado tick fever following a tick bite.
There is no evidence of natural person-to-person
transmission. However, rare cases of transmission from blood transfusions have been reported. The
virus that causes Colorado tick fever may stay in
the blood for as long as four months after onset of the
What are the symptoms of Colorado tick
The disease causes:
These symptoms usually last a few
days, go away, and then return for a few days.
Occasionally a rash appears.
How soon do symptoms usually appear?
The symptoms generally begin four to five days after
being bitten by an infective tick.
How should a tick be removed?
Ticks should be removed promptly and carefully by
using tweezers and applying gentle steady traction.
Do not crush the tick’s body when removing it and
apply the tweezers as close to the skin as possible to
avoid leaving parts of the tick’s mouth in the skin.
Do not remove ticks with your bare hands.
your hands with gloves, cloth or tissue and be sure
to wash your hands after removing a tick.
How can Colorado tick fever be prevented?
Avoid tick-infested areas, especially during the
Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be easily
seen. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, hat, long pants,
and tuck your pant legs into your socks.
Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging
grass and brush.
Check your body every few hours for ticks when
you spend a lot of time outdoors in tick-infested
areas. Ticks are most often found on the thigh,
arms, underarms and legs. Ticks can be very
small (no bigger than a pinhead). Look carefully
for new "freckles."
Use insect repellents containing DEET on your
skin (except the face) or permethrin on clothing.
Be sure to follow the directions on the container
and wash off repellents when going indoors.
Remove attached ticks immediately.
Where can I get more information?
Contact your doctor or the Southern Nevada Health District, Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300.