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San Diego: Typhus

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Technophobe View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 02 2018 at 4:17pm

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - County public health officials reported today that a woman in North Park contracted a rare but potentially deadly form of typhus, and urged pet owners who let their animals outside to protect their pets, and themselves, from fleas.

The woman was hospitalized in May and has since fully recovered from murine typhus, a bacterial disease that causes symptoms of headache, fever, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting and rashes, according to county health officials.

Typhus is most often spread by fleas that feed on infected rats, opossums, cats, raccoons and rodents. Fleas enter people's homes on cats and dogs, then pet owners get sick when infected flea feces are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in the skin.

"The woman who became ill had an indoor/outdoor cat and remembered being bitten by fleas before getting sick," said Dr. Sayone Thihalolipavan, the county's deputy public health officer. "Keeping fleas off your pets and out of your homes is the best prevention for murine typhus."

To avoid disease, officials recommend using veterinarian-approved flea control products on cats and dogs.

About 200 cases of murine typhus are reported each year in the U.S., according to the California Department of Public Health. Most cases occur in California, Texas and Hawaii.

County health officials said there is typically one locally acquired case reported annually, but the disease is often not recognized because most people who contract it recover without treatment.

Untreated cases can become severe, however, and may be fatal or lead to damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain.

Symptoms of murine typhus typically begin within two weeks of infected flea contact.

Apart from using anti-flea products, county health officials advise the public to keep rodents and animals away from their homes, and to get rid of brush, rock piles and cluttered firewood.


Source:   https://www.10news.com/news/san-diego-woman-contracts-disease-linked-to-fleas

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 02 2018 at 10:30pm
Lovely. Half a mile from where I live. Confused



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"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2018 at 3:56am
Forewarned is forearmed, JD.  That is why I keep reporting such apparently minor/local stuff.

Be safe, my friend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2018 at 3:07pm
I'm sitting here with one of my cats on my lap, and I just noticed she has fleas 😒


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 03 2018 at 3:32pm
Check yourself and your family for bites; at least flea ones are really easy to find (scratch!!! - just thinking of it).  Prophylaxis if bitten and stick lots of organophosphates on your cats! 

Ordinary flea collars fail fantastically, but organophosphate ones even kill ear mites.  Or use a spot on or fipronill.  Household flea spray helps too.  You can even spray your garden/yard with a pyrethrum spray which does fleas in rather well.  Following that regime, with three dogs, RSPCA foster dogs, 12 cats and RSPCA foster cats my household was the only one in our street to avoid the flea plague when I lived in Milton Keynes.

Of course, one case does not an outbreak make and the disease is easily treatable (azithromycin, doxycycline, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol all work.) .  But to my mind, there is good reason to be cautious, just not panic-stricken.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2018 at 9:45am
They all got dosed with Advantage, but the fleas seem to be getting used to it. I swear it gets tougher each year to knock them down.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 04 2018 at 11:41am
It does.  The fleas get resistant to different inseticides. 

The best way to combat this is to use different ones for the house and the cats and change both on alternate years.  As the life cycle of the flea includes a period of time off of the cat, household and garden treatments make quite a big difference.  Sorry but talking to your vet is probably the best approach for rotating them.  Here in Scotland, fleas are only briefly a problem each year and my household information is out of date.

On the cat, Advantage is safe and usually effective  Collars containing dimpylate (an organophosphate) make a great alternative.  The only downside is if your cat suffers from pica and you fail to fit the collar correctly.  (The collars are poisonus if eaten - but that is rather unusual to say the least)  It is also bad news to mix insecticides on your pet AT THE SAME TIME.  (Sometimes they inter-react so swap/rotate them, don't mix.) 

If you are desperate enough to try combinations, there  are a few non-chemical alternatives.  Diatomaceous earth rubbed into the fur will kill most chitinous things.  This is absolutely harmless to mammals, fish, reptiles and birds - but some cats object.  Asafoetda* will drive fleas away if applied likewise.  You can use that as a household flea repellent as well if you are brave enough, by burning it like insence on a charcoal ring, but be warned, it is like tear gas and can drive the neighbors away too!  Program (which puts the cat's fleas on the pill) can also safely be used at the same time as other products.

Alternatively, live somewhere cold like NE Scotland where the fleas die in the winter.  (We just get midges instead!)





*also sold as hing in indian spice shops.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2018 at 6:50am
Originally posted by Technophobe Technophobe wrote:

Alternatively, live somewhere cold like NE Scotland where the fleas die in the winter.  (We just get midges instead!)SleepySleepySleepySleepySleepy

I've been eaten alive by midges on too many camping and hiking trips in the UK to know when I've got it good. I think I'd rather catch typhoid than deal with those unrelenting little buggers on a regular basis.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2018 at 7:20am
Me too Cry

Weirdly, they devistate everyone for the first year or so.  Then, suddeny, almost everyone becomes immune.  They still bite, but it does not itch, swell or redden.

I say almost everyone - just not me.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2018 at 8:16am
I never built up immunity unfortunately. A midge/mosquito bite will plague me for weeks if I don't constantly hit it with calamine lotion.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2018 at 11:39am
Tea tree oil works better.  The reason the bites irritate so much is because the mouthparts of the midge resemble two microscopic saws.  They get covered in bacteria and that is the source of the itch/pain/redness/swelling. 

The reason people usually become immune, is because their immune systems become wise to the little ba*tards.

Tea tree oil also works as a repellant - adjuvant to deet.
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