relapsing fever

relapsing fever



:  a variable acute epidemic disease that is marked by recurring high fever usually lasting three to seven days and is caused by a spirochete (genus Borrelia) transmitted by the bites of lice and ticks

First Known Use of RELAPSING FEVER


relapsing fever

noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of RELAPSING FEVER

: a variable acute infectious disease that is marked by sudden recurring episodes of high fever which usually last from three to seven days, are typically accompanied by myalgia, arthralgia, headache, nausea, and chills, and often end in a crisis stage and that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Borrelia transmitted by the bite of a body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus) or a tick of the genus Ornithodoros and found in the circulating blood—see mianeh fever

relapsing fever

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Infectious disease with recurring fever, caused by several spirochetes of the genus Borrelia, transmitted by lice, ticks, and bedbugs. Onset is sudden, with high fever, which breaks within a week with profuse sweating. Symptoms return about a week later. There may be 2 to 10 relapses, usually decreasing in severity. Mortality usually ranges from 0 to 6%, up to 30% in rare epidemics. Central nervous system involvement causes various (usually mild) neurological symptoms. The first microscopic organisms clearly associated with serious human disease (1867–68), the spirochetes mutate repeatedly, changing their antigens so that the host's immunity no longer is effective, which produces the relapses. Antibiotics can be effective, but inadequate therapy may leave spirochetes alive in the brain, and they may reinvade the bloodstream.


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