Limb-Threatening Outbreak: Flea-Borne Disease Spreading Rapidly Across the US

limb-threatening-outbreak-flea-borne-disease-spreading-rapidly-across-US

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently sounded the alarm over a concerning rise in flea-borne typhus cases in Los Angeles County (LAC), California. According to their findings, there has been a staggering 450% increase in cases since 2010.

The bacteria Rickettsia typhi and perhaps Rickettsia felis, which are spread by fleas, are the main cause of flea-borne typhus, also known as murine typhus. While CDC doctors have not observed the disease becoming more lethal, they emphasize the need for continuous monitoring due to the potential risks.

Incidentally, the last flea-borne typhus-related mortality in the LAC region was documented in 1993, not 2022. However, between June and October of the previous year, three fatalities were recorded, raising concerns about the disease’s impact.

While flea-borne typhus is considered moderately severe, it can be fatal in some cases, leading to complications like septic shock. 

The CDC has expressed its worries about the increase in cases not only in California but also in Texas, where a Texan man had his hands and parts of his feet amputated in June 2023 after contracting typhus from a flea, likely during his work as a pet sitter. 

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Flea-Borne Typhus Cases on the Rise

limb-threatening-outbreak-flea-borne-disease-spreading-rapidly-across-US
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently sounded the alarm over a concerning rise in flea-borne typhus cases in Los Angeles County (LAC), California.

The CDC has urged healthcare professionals to consider flea-borne typhus in any patient presenting with symptoms such as fever, headache, or rash. The cause of the rising cases is likely multifaceted, with factors such as an increase in rats and other rodents in LAC contributing to the problem. 

Additionally, the prevalence of the cat flea, which can carry the disease, may also be playing a role. Fleas carrying the typhus bacteria reside on animals, particularly feral and stray cats, rats, and opossums, without causing any harm to their hosts. The transmission occurs when feces from an infected flea contaminate a person’s cut or graze while the flea feeds on their blood.

As the CDC raises awareness of this concerning trend, public health officials are urging vigilance and measures to control flea populations and reduce the risk of transmission. 

Timely diagnosis and prompt treatment can play a crucial role in preventing severe outcomes associated with flea-borne typhus, making it essential for individuals and healthcare providers to remain vigilant in regions with an elevated risk.

Read Also: CDC Reports Alarming Surge of Leprosy Cases in Central Florida

Source: MSN

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