Texas DSHS has reported a nearly 10% increase in reports of flea-borne typhus during 2017. DSHS has requested all physicians increase clinical suspicion for patients presenting with non-specific symptoms and possible exposure. The bacterium
experiences a peak in December and January, with 25% of cases reported occurring in patients between 6 and 15 years of age. While the disease is self-limited, more than 60% of reported cases are hospitalized and 8 related deaths have occurred in Texas since 2003. Left untreated, organ damage can occur, including damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain.