relapsing fever


relapsing fever
relapsing fever n any of several forms of an acute epidemic infectious disease marked by sudden recurring paroxysms of high fever lasting from five to seven days, articular and muscular pains, and a sudden crisis and caused by a spirochete of the genus Borrelia transmitted by the bites of lice and ticks and found in the circulating blood see MIANEH FEVER

* * *

an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia, which is transmitted by ticks or lice and results in recurrent fever. The first episode of fever occurs about a week after infection: it is accompanied by severe headache and aching muscles and joints and lasts 2-8 days. Subsequent attacks are milder and occur at intervals of 3-10 days; untreated, the attacks may continue for up to 12 weeks. Treatment with antibiotics, such as tetracycline or erythromycin, is effective.

* * *

either of two acute infectious, systemic, usually self-limited diseases, caused by infection with species of Borrelia. Louse-borne relapsing fever (q.v.) is spread by the human body louse, and tick-borne relapsing fever (q.v.) is spread by ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. Both types are characterized by alternating periods several days long with and without fever and spirochetemia. During the febrile periods, symptoms include chills, headache, fatigue, myalgia, arthralgia, anorexia, cough, abdominal pain, and sometimes coagulation disturbance, hepatosplenomegaly, psychic disturbances, petechial rash, and vomiting. Called also recurrent, or spirillum f.

Medical dictionary. 2011.