What are The Symptoms Of Typhus Fever?

Typhus is a disease which exists in two forms, epidemic typhus, which is a disease of man only and is very severe, and endemic or murine typhus, a much milder disease of rats and nice only occasionally transmitted to man. Typhus can occur anywhere in the world, without an exception.
Epidemic typhus is more often fatal to people over 40, but is relatively mild in children, who have a lower death rate. The onset is sudden with vomiting, nose bleeds, headache, high fever, and delirium. There is a rash. The disease affects the heart muscle and kidneys.
Cause. A large type of virus called Rickettsia.
Typhus Source. For epidemic typhus the source is another infected person; for endemic typhus the source is an infected rat or mouse.
Typhus Disease Route. Epidemic typhus is spread by the bite of the body louse, as the bites become infected with the faeces of the infected louse. Typhus is rapidly spreading epidemic. Transmission to man of murine typhus is through the bite of the rat-flea.
Typhus Susceptibles. All age-groups are susceptible, but it is adults and especially those over 40 who suffer very high death rates in epidemic typhus.

Typhus Fever Prevention

Typhus has become a rare disease since the first use of DDT. When an epidemic breaks out, health teams squirt DDT dust down the clothes of all people, and the epidemic bearer almost immediately. There is also a vaccine useful for endemic areas, but it has to be given twice yearly.

Typhus Fever Treatment

Chloramphenicol or tetracycline continued for 3 days after temperature returns to normal.
Note: There are number of other typhus diseases all caused by Rickettsia, and all of them transmitted from various animals by the bite of arthropods, principally ticks and mites. Among then are Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Kenya typhus, South Africa tick fever, tsutsugamushi disease, etc. Some are severe, and all are endemic disease limited to comparatively localized areas.