Flea-borne Typhus

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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, 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.