Although the disease is of ancient vintage, it was not identified as a separate condition until the mid 20th century when it was identified in crowded, mice-infested urban areas.
The disease is characterized by a rash that covers the entire body after starting from the bite site. The bite generally starts as a bump, then scabs over with a dark scab. It also can cause fever, chills and body aches. It rarely passes from human to human.
Rickettsialpox is never fatal and will resolve itself within three weeks even if not treated. However, it does respond to doxycycline.