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Typhus – causes, side effects and treatments at

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 by

Typhus is a rare, though potentially fatal, disease caused by the infection of one or more rickettsia bacteria. It is typically transmitted through fleas, mites, lice, or ticks that attach themselves to your skin and bite you. Scratching the bite further opens the skin and helps the bacteria gain access to the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria reproduces further and causes greater harm.

There are three different types of typhus:

  • Epidemic typhus – Otherwise known as louse-borne typhus, the disease is transmitted by the human body louse that feeds on the blood of patients with acute typhus fever. Infected lice excrete rickettsia onto the skin while feeding on a second host, who then becomes infected by rubbing the louse fecal matter into the bite wound. This type of typhus is common in areas that are overpopulated and have poor sanitation.
  • Endemic typhus – This type is carried by fleas that infest rats or cats. It is also called murine typhus and typically occurs in tropical and subtropical climates around the world. In the United States, cases of murine typhus are recorded in people living in California, Hawaii, and Texas.
  • Scrub typhus – This type is carried around by mites in their larval stage when they are chiggers. It is also called tsutsugamushi disease. It is more commonly reported in Asia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.

Untreated typhus can lead to serious complications. It is crucial that you see a medical professional immediately if you suspect that you may have typhus.

Known symptoms of typhus

Symptoms of any of the typhus types typically occur within two weeks after contact. Signs include:

  • Body and muscle aches
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Vomiting

Severe cases can cause damage to one or more organs, including the livers, kidneys, heart, and lungs.

Body systems harmed by typhus

Typhus compromises your immune system. Regardless of which type you get, typhus damages your body’s ability to fight off everyday stresses. This is why immediate symptoms usually manifest themselves as rashes, fever, and a general sense of malaise. Left untreated, however, typhus can enter your bloodstream and wreak havoc to other organs in your body. There have been cases of typhus contributing to the onset of delirium and peripheral gangrene and necrosis.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent typhus

Typhus is caught when travelling or coming into contact with an infected person. In terms of prevention, there are no food items that can safeguard you from an insect bite. It is recommended to maintain proper hygiene habits and avoid eating questionably-cooked food or drinking contaminated water.

Treatments, management plans for typhus

There are, nevertheless, natural remedies that you can maximize once you are infected. These include:

  • Apple cider vinegar — Mix one part unfiltered apple cider vinegar with two parts cold water. Soak a cloth in this mixture and place it on your forehead and stomach. Repeat the process when the cloth becomes warm.
  • Banana — The fruit helps treat diarrhea and can balance the loss of electrolytes that will occur as you fight off the fever.
  • Cloves — The essential oils found in cloves are loaded with antibacterial agents that reduce the symptoms of typhus.
  • Garlic — This strengthens your immune system. It is recommended to eat two cloves everyday for a week to receive the maximum benefits.
  • Honey — Add one tablespoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink this as many times as you can in a day. This energizes your body and regulates the digestion process.

Where to learn more


Typhus is caused by an infection of one of more rickettsia bacteria.

It is usually contracted when travelling or living in an area that is overcrowded and has poor sanitation.

Typhus can resolve itself but it is highly recommended to seek medical treatment immediately to avoid any potential complications.

The disease can be fatal.

Sources include: 1 2


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