Typhus is primarily caused by one of three distinct bacteria.
- Murine Typhus. Fleas can transmit it to humans by biting infected animals, primarily rats. Texas, Hawaii, and California have seen the majority of recorded cases in the US.
- Epidemic Typhus. It is an uncommon variety that body lice infection spreads. Outside of extremely congested living situations, it’s unlikely to occur. Infected flying squirrels can spread a particular strain of epidemic typhus. But it is also exceedingly uncommon.
- Scrub Typhus. It is primarily disseminated in rural Southeast Asia, Japan, China, India, and northern Australia by infected chiggers or mites.
Antibiotics are a simple and effective treatment for all three types of typhus. However, if you suspect you may have been exposed, seek medical attention right away, as they have the potential to cause significant sickness.
You will begin to feel sick with any type of flea-borne (murine) typhus 10 to 2 weeks after the typhus germs enter your body. You probably have:
- Muscle pain
Other symptoms of murine typhus include:
- Reduced appetite
- Abdominal pain
In cases of epidemic typhus, you can see:
- Fast breathing
Additional signs of scrub typhus include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Dark scab
- Confusion and other mental conditions