Typhus – United States
A woman in Monrovia, California who thought she had COVID-19 turned out to have typhus. She experienced symptoms of fatigue, fever and headache.
She had disposed of a dead rat in her backyard, which eventually led doctors to diagnose her with typhus. She likely contracted typhus from infected fleas carried by the rat.
She discovered that another person in her neighborhood had also recently been diagnosed with typhus after disposing of a dead rat
Photo: cells infected with Rickettsia bacteria (red)
Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases that include epidemic typhus (body lice), scrub typhus (chiggers), murine typhus (fleas) and tick-borne typhus.
The diseases are caused by specific types of bacterial infection. Epidemic typhus is due to Rickettsia prowazekii.
Common symptoms include fever, headache, and a rash. Typically these begin one to two weeks after exposure.
Prevention is achieved by reducing exposure to the organisms that spread the disease. Typhus has been described since at least 1528 AD.
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