South African tick-bite fever is a disease passed to humans by
ticks that are infected with an organism called Rickettsia africae. These ticks, known as buffalo ticks, usually live on cattle in
Symptoms usually begin within 8 days after the tick bite and may
last for 1 to 15 days. Symptoms may include:
Fever and chills.
Multiple crusty skin sores, or sores that look like ulcers.
Swelling in the area of the skin
Generalized swollen glands.
Unlike some tick-borne diseases, South African tick-bite fever does
not cause a rash.
A person who has South African tick-bite fever is treated with
antibiotics (usually doxycycline).
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine