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Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Diagnosis, Prevention, and Management


Most reported cases of Lyme disease and RMSF occur in the spring and summer months when tick infestations reach their peak. The primary care physician can play an important role during peak periods by remaining vigilant to early signs of both Lyme disease and RMSF. Although both Lyme disease and RMSF are treatable, clinicians should be aware of early signs of both diseases to help reduce long-term complications. Patients should also be encouraged to adopt personal protective measures to minimize exposure to ticks and, thus, either of these diseases. The following is a comprehensive overview in which pertinent diagnostic aspects of each disease are highlighted with a particular emphasis placed upon the role of the primary care physician in treating and minimizing the risks of Lyme disease and RMSF.