Number of typhus cases growing in Galveston County

Posted at 8:32 PM, Jul 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-22 21:32:36-04

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) – Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston say the number of typhus cases in Galveston County already has equaled the total for all of 2017.

The bacterial infection, likely spread by fleas on rats and opossums, once was thought eradicated in Galveston County. While rarely fatal, people can become extremely sick with pain and fever.

The Galveston County Health District reports 17 people with the infection so far this year. After years with no instances, the first new case was reported in 2012. Another five were reported in 2013.

An infectious disease expert at the medical school, Lucas Blanton, tells The Galveston County Daily News it’s likely this year’s number is "the tip of the iceberg" because not everyone goes to a clinic or hospital for treatment.

Information from: The Galveston County Daily News,