Spotted fever is an infectious disease caused by certain types of Rickettsial bacteria. The bacteria are transmitted though tick bites. There are four types of spotted fever: Mediterranean spotted fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Queensland tick typhus, and Helvetica spotted fever. Spotted fevers are difficult to diagnose at first. Common initial symptoms include fever, muscle pains, headache, nausea and vomiting. Later symptoms includes a spotted rash, joint pain, pains in the abdomen or stomach area and forgetfullness. Diagnosis is made usually by the combination of fever, skin rash and known tick bite. Blood tests may also be performed. Most types of spotted fever are mild to moderate illnesses. However if left untreated they can become potentially serious and even fatal, especially in older people and in people whose immune system (the body's defense system against disease and infection) is weak. The most serious type of the spotted fever is the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and many people affected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever require hospitalization. Antibiotics are used to treat spotted fevers, and if the infection becomes more serious, other symptoms are treated as needed. If you or a family member has been bitten by a tick and develops a fever and skin rash, it is important to go to your doctor.