A group of acute infectious and contagious diseases, caused by rickettsiae that are transmitted by arthropods, and occurring in two principal forms: epidemic t. and endemic (murine) t.; typical symptoms include: severe headache, shivering and chills, high fever, malaise, and rash. Also called jail, camp, or ship fever. SYN: jail fever, ship fever. [G. typhos, smoke, stupor]
- Australian tick t. rarely fatal form of t. caused by the Rickettsia australis, seen in eastern Australia, transmitted by tick bite, and characterized by severe headache and conjunctivitis. Reservoir is in rodents and marsupials. SYN: Queensland tick t..
- endemic t. SYN: murine t..
- epidemic t. t. caused by Rickettsia prowazekii and spread by body lice; marked by high fever, mental and physical depression, and a macular and papular eruption; lasts for about 2 weeks and occurs when large crowds are brought together and personal hygiene is at a low ebb; recrudescences can occur. SYN: European t., hospital fever, louse-borne t., prison fever t..
- European t. SYN: epidemic t..
- exanthematous t. t. fever with the usual petechial skin lesions seen in that disease.
- flea-borne t. SYN: murine t..
- Indian tick t. SYN: Mediterranean spotted fever.
- louse-borne t. SYN: epidemic t..
- Manchurian t. tick transmitted infection with Rickettsia sibirica. SEE ALSO: Korean hemorrhagic fever.
- Mexican t. infection with Rickettsia typhi (mooseri) causing a syndrome similar to epidemic t., but spread from rats to humans by the rat flea (Xenopsylla (polyplax) cheopis). Spread from rat to rat by the rat louse (Polyplax spinulosa). Most common form of t. in the U.S. It has various geographic names based on the region in which it was observed.
- mite-born t. SYN: rickettsialpox.
- t. mitior a mild or abortive t..
- murine t. a milder form of epidemic t. caused by Rickettsia typhi and transmitted to humans by rat or mouse fleas. SYN: Congolian red fever, endemic t., flea-borne t., red fever, red fever of the Congo.
- North Queensland tick t. t. caused by Rickettsia australis.
- prison fever t. SYN: epidemic t..
- Queensland tick t. SYN: Australian tick t..
- recrudescent t. SYN: Brill-Zinsser disease.
- Sao Paulo t. infection with Rickettsia rickettsii; spread by tick bite. SEE ALSO: Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- scrub t. SYN: tsutsugamushi disease.
- shop t. a mild form of t. occurring in urban areas, reported in Mediterranean areas. SYN: urban t..
- Siberian tick t. tick-borne rickettsiosis caused by infection with Rickettsia sibirica.
- tick t. SYN: Mediterranean spotted fever.
- tropical t. SYN: tsutsugamushi disease.
- urban t. SYN: shop t..

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ty·phus 'tī-fəs n any of various bacterial diseases caused by rickettsial bacteria: as
a) a severe human febrile disease that is caused by one (Rickettsia prowazekii) transmitted esp. by body lice and is marked by high fever, stupor alternating with delirium, intense headache, and a dark red rash called also louse-borne typhus

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any one of a group of infections caused by rickettsiae and characterized by severe headache, a widespread rash, prolonged high fever, and delirium. They all respond to treatment with chloramphenicol or tetracyclines. Epidemic typhus (also known as classical or louse-borne typhus) is caused by infection with Rickettsia prowazekii transmitted by lice. It was formerly very prevalent in overcrowded insanitary conditions (as during wars and famines), with a mortality rate approaching 100%. Endemic typhus (murine or flea-borne typhus) is a disease of rats due to Rickettsia mooseri; it can be transmitted to humans by rat fleas, causing a mild typhus fever. There are in addition several kinds of tick typhus (in which the rickettsiae are transmitted by ticks), including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and typhus transmitted by mites (see rickettsial pox, scrub typhus).

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ty·phus (tiґfəs) [Gr. typhos stupor arising from fever] any of a group of acute, arthropod-borne infections caused by rickettsiae, closely related clinically and pathologically but differing in signs and symptoms and severity; all are characterized by severe headache, chills, high fever, stupor, and a macular, maculopapular, petechial, or papulovesicular eruption. The most common conditions in the group are epidemic typhus, its recrudescent form known as Brill-Zinsser disease, murine typhus, and scrub typhus. Called also typhus fever. In English-speaking countries, often used alone to refer to epidemic typhus, whereas in several European languages it refers to typhoid fever.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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