Murine typhus is characterized by fever, rash, and headache. Typhus bacteria are spread to humans by rat fleas and cat fleas. The disease is common in tropical and subtropical coastal areas; but in Galveston, Texas, use of pesticides apparently eradicated the disease for eight decades – until now. Two cases in 2012 prompted increased testing, which indicated that murine typhus is reemerging in Galveston. Until the cause for this reemergence is better understood, physician awareness and vector control remain crucial.
Article: Reemergence of Murine Typhus in Galveston, Texas, USA, 2013, Lucas S. Blanton, Rahat F. Vohra, Donald H. Bouyer, David H. Walker, Emerging Infectious Diseases, DOI: 10.3201/eid2103.140716, published online 11 February 2015.