Typhus - Symptom
Murine typhus; Epidemic typhus; Endemic typhus; Brill-Zinsser disease; Jail fever
Symptoms of murine or endemic typhus may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Dull red rash that begins on the middle of the body and spreads
- Extremely high fever (105 - 106 degrees Fahrenheit), which may last up to 2 weeks
- Hacking, dry cough
- Joint and muscle pain
Symptoms of epidemic typhus may include:
- High fever (104 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Joint pain (arthralgia)
- Lights that appear very bright; light may hurt the eyes
- Low blood pressure
- Rash that begins on the chest and spreads to the rest of the body (except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet)
- Severe headache
- Severe muscle pain (myalgia)
The early rash is a light rose color and fades when you press on it. Later, the rash becomes dull and red and does not fade. People with severe typhus may also develop small areas of bleeding into the skin (petechiae).
Signs and tests:
A complete blood count (CBC) may show anemia and low platelets. Other blood tests for typhus may show:
- Reviewed last on: 3/18/2011
- A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (9/15/2010).
Bechah Y, Capo C, Mege JL, Raoult D. Epidemic typhus. Lancet Infect Dis. 2008;8:417-426.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the
diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be
consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all
medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not
constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885