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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Endemic typhus - Chem-Bio-Rad Suspicion
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Potentially life-threatening emergency

Endemic typhus - Chem-Bio-Rad Suspicion

See also in: Overview
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Contributors: Edith Lederman MD, Noah Craft MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Endemic typhus (murine typhus) is caused by Rickettsia typhi, which is naturally transmitted from rodents to humans by flea bites (rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis) or aerosolized flea feces. It is not transmitted from person to person.

It is found worldwide in areas penetrated by rats and the vector flea. It is grossly underestimated as a significant cause of febrile human disease in many tropical and subtropical areas. Seasonal incidence of human infections correlates with periods of abundance of vector fleas, usually summer months in the US.

Without treatment, the mortality rate of endemic typhus is 1%-2%, most commonly in the elderly. Many cases are subclinical and resolve without therapy.

After the flea bite, there is a 6-14 day incubation period. Symptoms are similar to those of louse-borne typhus with the main difference being that murine typhus is milder and shorter lasting. Rapid onset of flu-like illness occurs (fever, chills, nausea, severe headache, and myalgias) and lasts about 2 weeks. A generalized macular, papular, and/or petechial eruption develops in 50% of cases. This rash can persist for up to 10 days or fade rapidly and is less extensive than for louse-borne typhus. Mental status changes may also occur during the second week (confusion, delirium, stupor, apathy, nervousness, meningismus, or coma), but, in general, murine typhus is one of the more mild rickettsioses.

A risk factor for infection is employment in a granary or brewery. Sanitation workers (garbage collectors) are at especially high risk. Transmission occurs in domestic settings in the developing world.

There is no vaccine for endemic typhus.

Codes

ICD10CM:
A75.2 – Typhus fever due to Rickettsia typhi

SNOMEDCT:
25668000 – Endemic typhus

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Last Updated: 08/07/2013
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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Endemic typhus - Chem-Bio-Rad Suspicion
See also in: Overview
Print 1 Images
Endemic typhus : Abdominal pain, Cough, Fever, Headache, Nausea, Rash, Arthralgia, Myalgia, BUN elevated, WBC elevated, WBC decreased, PLT decreased, AST/ALT elevated
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.