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Colorado Tick Fever: Clinical, Epidemiologic, and Laboratory Aspects of 228 Cases in Colorado in 1973-1974

HEWITT C. GOODPASTURE, M.D.; JACK D. POLAND, M.D.; D. BRUCE FRANCY, Ph.D.; G. STEPHEN BOWEN, M.D.; and KENNETH A. HORN, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Hewitt C. Goodpasture, M.D.; Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine—Wichita, 1001 North Minneapolis; Wichita, KS 67214.


Fort Collins, Colorado


© 1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(3):303-310. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-3-303
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During 1973 and 1974, we looked for cases of Colorado tick fever throughout Colorado; 228 cases were identified. Although 90% of the patients reported exposure to ticks before illness, only 52% were aware of an actual tick bite. Typical symptoms of fever, myalgia, and headache were common, but gastrointestinal symptoms were also prominent in 20% of the patients. Twenty percent were hospitalized; no deaths or permanent sequelae were noted. Persistent viremia (≥ 4 weeks) was found in about half of the cases; this finding was not associated with the occurrence of prolonged symptoms (≥ 3 weeks), which were also reported in half of the cases. One patient became reinfected with the virus. Increasing tourism in endemic areas and the frequent occurrence of prolonged or biphasic illnesses provide the potential for patients with Colorado tick fever to seek medical care anywhere in the United States.

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