Colorado tick fever (CTF) is caused by a virus. It’s transmitted by the bite of the Rocky Mountain wood tick Dermacentor andersoni. This sickness is most common between March and September. The majority of occurrences happen from April to June. Colorado tick fever (CTF) is most common at altitudes over 1,219 meters. Tick bites or blood transfusions spread the CTF virus on extremely rare occasions.

Furthermore, fatalities and other significant consequences from Colorado tick fever (CTF) are uncommon. Several fatalities have been recorded in the past, with the majority of them involving youngsters. Despite the low number of deaths, approximately 30% of persons infected with the CTF virus need hospitalization.


Colorado tick fever (CTF) symptoms are frequently seen 1 to 14 days following the tick bite. A sudden fever lasts for three days, then disappears for one to three days before reappearing for another few days. Other signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Cytopenia
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Skin pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Light-colored rash
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Sleepiness or perplexity
  • Headache behind the eyes
  • Muscle pains and general weakness
  • Headache behind the eye


The signs of Colorado tick fever (CTF), such as chills, fevers, and other symptoms, are similar in numerous illnesses, making diagnosis difficult. Consequently, laboratory examination is the most effective CTF virus detection method. Public health laboratories are often used for testing since they are more likely to have the specialist testing procedures required to track the virus.

The doctor will test you and inquire regarding your symptoms. When the provider feels you are infected, you will be questioned about your outside activities. The approaches listed below may assist in coming up with a definitive diagnosis:

  • Liver function tests
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • The nucleic acid amplification test is more accurate in the initial days after the beginning of symptoms because the nucleic acids are more apparent now.
  • Serological testing – sensitivity increases as the illness progresses and antibodies become detected.
  • RT-PCR sensitivity is higher in the early phases of illness.


Because there is currently no antiviral medication for Colorado tick fever (CTF), treatment is mainly supportive. Meanwhile, in the event of a severe illness, hospitalization is essential. To alleviate fever and pain, intravenous fluids and medications are administered to hospitalized patients.

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