The similar symptoms of rickettsial infections often make it difficult to distinguish one disease from another. In people the organisms grow in cells lining blood and lymph vessels; a rash, fever, and flulike symptoms are usually present. Q fever also causes lung damage. All rickettsial diseases respond to treatment with antibiotics such as doxycycline (a tetracycline) and chloramphenicol.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.