Flea-Borne Typhus

Information    Statistics

Flea-borne Typhus ICD-9 081; ICD-10 A75
(Murine Typhus, Endemic Typhus)
Related Topics:  Typhus

Flea-borne Typhus, (Murine Typhus, Endemic Typhus)

Flea-borne (also known as “murine” or “endemic”) typhus is a rickettsial disease caused by Rickettsia typhi, or possibly R. felis, bacteria that can be transmitted by infected fleas harbored by rats, opossums, cats, dogs and other small mammals. The disease is similar to louse-borne typhus (R. prowazekii) but is generally milder. Disease onset is often sudden, and symptoms may include fever, headache, chills, weakness, nausea/vomiting, body aches, and rash. Flea-borne typhus can be a serious disease, especially if diagnosis and treatment are delayed, and may result in hospitalization. In the United States, Texas reports the highest numbers of flea-borne typhus cases annually. From the 1940s through the early 2000s, highly endemic areas of typhus were limited to the lower Rio Grande Valley and the Coastal Bend area; however in the past 10 years, new areas of endemnicity have emerged in Bexar, Harris, and Travis counties, among others.