Epidemic louse-borne typhus

Coloured TEM of Rickettsiae bacterium. © Science Photo Library

Louse-borne typhus is a vector-borne disease caused by Rickettsia prowazekii and transmitted through infected faeces of the body louse Pediculus humanus humanus. Louse-borne typhus is responsible for large epidemics in populations with poor sanitary and overcrowded conditions. The disease can be severe with a mortality of up to 60% without antibiotic treatment. But this can be reduced to below 5% with antibiotic and supportive treatment. 

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