Before May of 2012, Travis County did not have any typhus deaths on record. However, that changed when a middle-aged resident of the county contracted the disease and died. Two cases have been confirmed in Travis County this year, and health experts believe more could follow. Although typhus was very rare in Texas in the past, 140 cases have been reported since 2007 in Travis County alone. Fleas, lice and ticks can carry typhus. With a substantial tick population in Travis County this year, it’s helpful to understand this disease in order to protect yourself and your family.
Although there are two forms of typhus, only one is present in Texas. Symptoms of this disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, chills, backache, cough or a rash that starts in the middle of the body before spreading. If these symptoms appear, see a doctor immediately. Ticks carrying typhus are usually found in trees, bushes and overgrown grassy areas.
To be properly protected, it is important to treat the home, yard and pets. Vacuum powders and carpet sprays are available to kill fleas and ticks carrying typhus. Although they live outside, ticks can be transported indoors by pets and humans. Since they are known for frolicking in tall grass and bushes, pets should be treated regularly. Each pet’s health is an individual issue, so talk to a vet about the best treatment plan. Dips, drops or pills may be recommended.
For the yard, consider ABC Home & Commercial Services. We offer Austin lawn service in addition to landscaping, pest control, painting, plumbing and irrigation for Austin residents. Since ticks thrive outdoors, the area surrounding your home should be the first priority during treatment. We provide effective treatment methods for yards of all types.