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Typhus Fevers

Douglas W. MacPherson, MD, MSc–CTM, FRCPC Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

An infectious disease syndrome caused by several rickettsial bacterial organisms resulting in acute, chronic, and recurrent disease (1)[C

DESCRIPTION

  • Acute infection caused by three species of ...

DIAGNOSIS

Typhus syndromes are rare in the United States. A high level of clinical suspicion is necessary. 

HISTORY

Travel or other risk exposure 
  • Fever, chills

  • Intractable headache

  • Myalgias, malaise

  • Cough,...

TREATMENT

Initiate treatment based on epidemiologic risk and clinical presentation. 

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Skin and mouth care

  • Supportive care—directed at complications

MEDICATION

First Line

  • Begin treatment when...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Admit severely ill patients.

  • If treated as an outpatient, ensure regular follow-up to assess clinical improvement and resolution.

DIET

As tolerated...

REFERENCES

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rickettsial (spotted & typhus fevers) & related infections, including anaplasmosis & ehrlichiosis. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yello...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Botelho-Nevers E, Raoult D. Host, pathogen and treatment-related prognostic factors in rickettsioses. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis.  2011;30(10):1139–1150. [View Abstract on...

CODES

ICD10

  • A75.9 Typhus fever, unspecified

  • A75.0 Epidemic louse-borne typhus fever d/t Rickettsia prowazekii

  • A75.2 Typhus fever due to Rickettsia typhi

  • A75.3 Typhus fever due to Rickettsia tsutsugamushi

  • A...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Consider typhus (along with malaria and dengue) in febrile travelers returning from endemic areas.

  • Rickettsial infections typically present within 2 to 14 days. Febrile illnesses presen...

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