Typhus

Below you will find more information about Typhus from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Typhus it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Typhus and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Typhus comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Typhus is an infectious disease caused by louse-born bacteria that is spread by lice or fleas. Its name is derived from the Greek typhos that means smoky or lazy, which describes the state of mind of those affected with the disease. It is often mistaken for dengue fever in tropical countries. The disease has 3 types namely epidemic typhus, endemic typhus and scrub typhus.

Treatment

A complete blood count or CBC may show anemia and low platelets. Other blood tests may reveal low sodium level, low level of albumin, mildly high liver enzymes, mild kidney failure, and high level of typhus antibodies.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms for Epidemic typhus include severe headache, a sustained high fever, cough, rashes, severe muscle pain, chills, decreasing blood pressure, stupor, sensitivity to light, and delirium. Rashes usually begin on the chest about five days after the fever appears. It then spreads to the trunk and extremities but does not reach the palms and soles. Fever may reach up to 39░C (102░F). Endemic typhus meanwhile has the following symptoms: headache, fever, chills, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, and cough. Fever is also a symptom for scrub typhus. Other manifestations include headache, muscle pain, cough, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Stronger strains of O. tsutsugamushi can cause hemorrhaging and intravascular coagulation.

Causes

There are 2 types of bacteria that may cause Typhus namely Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia prowazekii. The bacteria determines the type of typhus a person has. The Rickettsia typhi bacteria cause murine or endemic typhus while Rickettsia prowazekii meanwhile causes epidemic typhus and Brill-Zinsser disease. The latter a mild form of epidemic typhus and occurs when the disease re-activates in a person who was previously infected. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Treatment Any of the typhus types can be treated with antibiotics. Stabilizing the patient may need intravenous fluids and oxygen. The use of the antibiotic tetracycline during the early stage can lower the mortality rate, which is at 10-60%. Vaccines can help prevent the infection.

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