Can Humans Get Diseases from Fleas in The Hills, TX? Murine Typhus, Cat Scratch Fever & More

There are numerous varieties of fleas present in Texas, with cat, dog, human, and rat fleas being the most prevalent. While fleas are often disregarded as a minor annoyance, their rapid multiplication and the issues they cause emphasize the need to not only eliminate them at the first sign of infestation but also take preventive measures. The primary concern associated with fleas is the transmission of diseases to both humans and pets. Today, A-Tex Pest Management aims to provide information on the most common diseases spread by fleas.

Murine Typhus

Rats serve as the primary carriers of Murine typhus, and the fleas in contact with them often transfer to cats, which then bring this disease into households. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, humans frequently become infested with Murine typhus through flea bites. As a flea bites, it also defecates, allowing the bacteria in its feces to enter the body either through the bite itself or by scratching the affected area. Symptoms of Murine typhus include body aches, headaches, fever, and nausea. After approximately 5-6 days from the initial bite, a rash develops on the trunk of the body and eventually spreads to the arms and legs. If there is suspicion of Murine typhus infection, seeking immediate medical care is vital. This disease poses a higher health risk in areas with a substantial rat population.

Mycoplasma Haemofelis

Mycoplasma haemofelis is a parasitic bacterial disease transmitted to cats through flea bites, as well as tick and mosquito bites. The infection affects the red blood cells and can cause fever and anemia in cats. Evidence also suggests that Mycoplasma haemofelis can infect humans, particularly if their immune system is already compromised. Medical treatment for both humans and pets is essential in such cases.
Tapeworms: Tapeworms inhabit the intestines and can infect cats, dogs, and humans alike. Pets usually acquire tapeworms by swallowing infected fleas. Cats may also become infected by eating mice that carry tapeworms. While it is uncommon in adults, children are susceptible to infection if they accidentally swallow an infected flea while playing outdoors. Segments of tapeworms are often passed during bowel movements in both children and pets.

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat scratch fever, caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, is relatively common in felines. Around 40% of cats, especially kittens, may experience this infection at some point in their lives. Some cats may display severe symptoms such as red eyes, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting, decreased appetite, and lethargy. However, other cats may not exhibit any symptoms at all, while a few may experience a mild fever. It is important to note that if a cat carries the disease without showing symptoms, humans can contract cat scratch fever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the disease is transmitted to people through biting or scratching that breaks the skin or when the wounds or scabs are licked.

Flea Pest Inspections, Treatment, Control, Removal & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park Texas

When fleas are discovered on a person or pet, it is likely that viable eggs are present nearby. After receiving medical treatment, it is highly recommended to seek comprehensive flea control services from A-Tex Pest Management. Call us today!

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