San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide



Lyme Disease

The Natural History of Disease


The San Diego County Environmental Health Department reports that in 1999 a person near Vista was confirmed infected with flea-borne typhus. This is very unusual case. After trapping and testing 18 domestic rats without a positive diagnosis, the neighbors were given information on flea control. Ground squirrels, domestic cats, and opossums all carry the cat flea responsible for typhus infection and transmission.

Symptoms The incubation period for murine typhus (flea-borne typhus) is 6-14 days. Symptoms of the disease include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Five or six days after the initial symptoms, you may get a rash that starts on the trunk of your body and spreads to your arms and legs. If left untreated, the disease may last for several months.


Murine typhus is easily treated with certain antibiotics. Once you recover, you will not get it again.

Inform yourself

Fleas (San Diego County Department of Environmental Health)

Zoonoses | Field Guide