Tick Borne Diseases

Colorado Tick Fever

Colorado Tick Fever is a non-fatal viral disease that is transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick.  You may experience a fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and abdominal pain.  These symptoms may come and go for several weeks, followed by recovery.  After infection, you are immune to Colorado Tick Fever.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is a serious disease that can be fatal.  Luckily, if diagnosed early, it is treatable.  RMSF is also transmitted by the bite of a Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, and can cause illness is humans and dogs.  Generally, it causes flu-like symptoms after a 3-14 day incubation period.  In most human cases, a rash follows.

Relapsing Fever

Unlike TickColorado Tick Fever and RMSF, Relapsing Fever is caused by the bite of an infected soft tick.  Soft ticks are generally associated with wild rodents.  Relapsing Fever is often mistaken for Lyme disease, as symptoms are similar.  High fevers and joint pain are experienced for several days, then recede, followed by relapsing cycles of these symptoms.  Relapsing Fever can usually be treated with antibiotics.

Tips to Avoid Ticks

  • Stay on trails and avoid tall grass or leaf litter 
  • Wear tall socks, long pants, and long sleeves 
  • Use insect repellents with at least 20% DEET 
  • Conduct full body tick checks 
  • Check clothing, gear, and pets for ticks


Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Tick Borne Diseases
Colorado Department of Public Health: Tick Borne Diseases