Typhus-Symptoms,Prevention And Treatment


Typhus-Symptoms,Prevention And Treatment.

Typhus is an illness similar to but different from typhoid. The infection is transmitted by bites of lice, ticks and rat fleas.

There are about three major types of typhus; they are :

  • The scrub  : caused by mites.
  • The epidemic : caused by lice.
  • The murine : caused by fleas.


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NOTE : If typhus is not treated well, it can cause pneumonia or meningitis.



  • Typhus begins like a bad cold. After a week or more, fever begins with chills, headache and pain in the muscles and chest.
  • After a few days of fever, a typical rash appears first in the armpits and then on the body, then the arms and legs (but not on the palms of the hands or sole of the feet). The rash looks like many tiny bruises.
  • The fever lasts 2 weeks or more. Typhus is usually mild in children and very severe in old people. An epidemic form of typhus is very dangerous.
  • In typhus spread by ticks, there is often a large painful sore at the point of the bite and the lymph nodes near the bite are swollen and painful.



  • Keep clean. Delouse (removal of lice) the whole family regularly.
  • Remove ticks from your dogs and do not allow dogs in your house, unless they are vaccinated and deloused.
  • Kill rats. Use cats or traps (not poison which can be dangerous to other animals and children).
  • Kill rat fleas. Do not handle dead rats. The fleas may jump off onto you. Drown, burn or bury the rats and their fleas. Put insecticide into the holes and nests.



  • If you think someone may have typhus, get medical advice. Special tests are often needed.
  • Give tetracycline; Adults: 2 capsules of 250 mg, 4 times a day for 7 days. Chloramphenicol also works but is riskier.
  • Doxycycline and azithromycin can be used.


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