Parasites are animals that live directly off other animals. They can sometimes live internally while many others will live directly on the skin. One common example of a parasite that lives on the skin are ticks and they are found throughout much of the world. They will attach themselves to their host with strong mandibles and will feed on their host’s blood.
Some ticks will carry bacteria and other pathogens that can be passed onto their host. One example is the Rickettsia bacterium, which is responsible for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) 1. RMSF can be treated and is rarely fatal, although it should never be treated with complacency. If you do suspect symptoms of RMSF or another similar disease, you should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as you can.
Symptom #1: Headache
If you have never experienced a headache before then you are in a very lucky minority. They can sometimes come on for no apparent reason and can range in severity from mild to severe. Headaches are a common symptom of many illnesses and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is one of them.
Because headaches are so common it is unlikely you will get a diagnosis of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever unless other symptoms help to clearly identify it. Sometimes, tests may be necessary to reach a correct diagnosis. Regardless, if you are suffering from severe headaches then it may be a good idea to book an appointment with a doctor.