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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Endemic typhus
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Potentially life-threatening emergency

Endemic typhus

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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 or aerosolized flea feces. It is found worldwide.

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 7-14 day incubation period. 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. Mental status changes may also occur during the second week (eg, 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 an especially high risk. Transmission occurs in domestic settings in the developing world.

There is no vaccine for endemic typhus. Person-to-person transmission has not been documented, except through the flea vector.

Codes

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

SNOMEDCT:
25668000 – Endemic typhus

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Last Updated: 09/08/2017
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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Endemic typhus
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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.