COVID-19: Stay up to date with our coverage on the coronavirus pandemic. Read more >



Travel Health Advice - Typhus fever

Typhus fever

What is it? Typhus Fever is a louse borne disease characterised by the sudden onset of headache, chills, high fever, prostration, coughing and severe muscular pain. After a week dark spots develop on the skin beginning on the upper body. Without treatment the fatality rate is 40%. How is it transmitted? The human body louse becomes infected by feeding on the blood of people with acute typhus fever. These lice excrete infectious faeces which in turn enter the blood stream via the bite wound. Where is it present? Anywhere crowded and unhygienic, most notably in the mountainous and colder regions of Central and East Africa, Central and South America and Asia. Level of risk? Very low. What can I do to prevent getting it? Stay clean, and use insecticidal powders for body-louse control. Treatment: A course of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents.

View information on diseases:

African Sleeping Sickness, American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), Anthrax, Brucellosis, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Diphtheria, Giardiasis, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis E, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Influenza, Japanese encephalitis, Leishmaniasis, Leptospirosis (including Weil disease), Lyme disease, Malaria, Meningococcal disease, Plague, Rabies, SARS, Schistosomiasis (bilharzia), Swine flu, Tetanus, Tick-borne encephalitis, Tuberculosis, Typhoid fever, Typhus fever, Yellow fever