Medical Encyclopedia

Typhus

What is typhus?

Typhus is a dangerous infectious disease. In addition to severe disease, in which the mortality rate is 10-20%, there is a mild form - so-called endemic typhus, which spreads a limited geographical area. After transferring typhus serious sequelae have often been, such as epilepsy, spastic paralysis, or hearing loss. Vectors of pathogens of epidemic typhus are lice and endemic - mites, fleas, rats. Today, due to non-compliance with the basic rules of hygiene cases of typhus are usually found only in parts of Asia and Africa.

Symptoms of typhus

  • Skin rash purple-bluish color.
  • The sharp increase in body temperature.
  • Poor circulation, swelling of the face.
  • Impaired consciousness.
  • Headaches.

Causes of typhus

Typhus is caused by Rickettsia (tiny bacteria). The major carriers of bacteria are rodents. Rickettsiae are found in the intestines of carriers. Transfer of bacteria is occurring through the bite of vectors. The main gate of infection are small skin lesions through which the rickettsiae enter the blood. By the way, a person can be infected with the disease when consuming contaminated food. Most often, rickettsiae damage to blood vessels, internal organs and nervous tissue.

Treatment of typhus

Typhus

Antibiotics (eg, tetracycline) affect rickettsiae. It is important to treat symptoms, which is caused by infection. The first step is to maintain normal blood circulation, observe the rules of oral hygiene - regular mouthwash will help avoid a painful inflammation of the gums and the parotid glands.

The primary means of prevention is a vaccination. When infecting people who are vaccinated against typhoid fever, the disease manifests itself in a relatively mild and lasts only a few days. However, even after vaccination, you should follow all the rules of personal hygiene, it is the only way to reduce the chance of infection.

After visiting the countries with a high incidence of typhus (Latin America, Africa, Asia, southern Europe, and Australia), with fatigue, exhaustion, headaches, pains in the limbs, a sharp rise in temperature, chills, heart palpitations, you should immediately contact the doctor.

For the purpose of diagnosis, the doctor makes a blood sample, which is tested in the laboratory for the presence of pathogens. Upon confirmation of the diagnosis, the patient is referred to an infectious diseases hospital.

Course of the disease

10-14 days after infection, headaches and pain in the limbs are observed in the patient, and also a sharp increase in body temperature (39°C), chills, worsen. These symptoms are often accompanied by severe bronchitis, myocarditis, circulatory failure, swelling and redness of the face. After 2-4 days the temperature increases, then the characteristic rash appears - the whole body is studded with purple-bluish spots. In uncomplicated cases, at this stage of the disease the patient may spontaneously improve. In severe cases, the affected brain - consciousness is disturbed, delirium, paralysis and convulsions are possible. Often after this the person dies. If the patient does not die at this stage of the disease, then about 2 weeks later the body temperature begins to fall. Reinfestation with typhus is possible a year and a half later, and at a later date after suffering disease.

Do not go to the country where epidemic typhus is rampant. How dangerous trip to another country, you can find in a travel agency and the Ministry of Health. Three months before travel you should be vaccinated against typhus.

Other articles:

Trypanosomiasis

Tetanus