Flea poo is causing a typhus increase in Tarrant County

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TARRANT COUNTY — Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) has issued a public health warning regarding a rise of typhus cases in the county.

Typhus, aka murine typhus, is a bacterial infection that causes headache, fever, nausea, body aches and can eventually cause a rash.

The bacteria is commonly spread when infected flea feces is scratched on the site of a flea bite or another break in the skin. Fleas can be infected when they bite animals, such as rodents, opossums and cats.

TCPH suggests that healthcare providers be on the lookout for symptoms and for residents guard against contracting the bacteria by keeping yards free of clutter as to not attract rodents, treats pets with flea control, handle sick or dead animals with care and use insect repellent when involved in outdoor activities.

Typhus is usually treated with antibiotics.