DSHS Issues Alert as Flea-borne Typhus Activity in Texas Increases

An increase this year in the number of cases of flea-borne typhus across multiple areas of the state is prompting the Texas Department of State Health Services to remind people to take precautions to prevent contracting the disease. A health alert issued today asks providers to consider a diagnosis of flea-borne typhus for people with fever and at least one other symptom of the disease. Typhus cases normally peak in Texas between May and July and again in December and January.

Flea-borne typhus, also known as murine typhus, is a bacterial infection that most commonly occurs when infected flea feces are scratched into the site of the flea bite or another break in the skin. Inhalation or mucous membrane contact with contaminated, dried flea feces are less common ways to contract the disease. Fleas are infected when they bite animals, such as rodents, opossums and cats, that can maintain and transmit the bacteria. Continue reading

Typhus on the comeback: how to minimize your risk

Travis County, Texas, recently had a death due to typhus, last year typhus showed up in the Lower Valley area.  Typhus is one of those “diseases” that has not been prevalent for many years, but like everything else it is making a comeback.

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