(photo credit: courtesy)
Three cases of Mediterranean spotted fever, a type of typhus, were treated at
Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera in recent weeks.
Dr. Gershon Keren,
head of the center’s infectious diseases unit, called on the public to be alert
to the symptoms and avoid being bitten by the parasite that causes the
Last week, a 14-year-old girl from a settlement in the Hadera
area was hospitalized with dizziness, nausea, vomiting and intermittent
Pale red spots also usually appear on the face, hands and
feet. A simple blood test showed she was suffering from Mediterranean spotted
Dr. Adi Klein, chief of pediatrics, said she was treated in time
She recovered quickly and was discharged. In the
preceding weeks, two other cases were diagnosed at the hospital.
cases of this type of typhus occur in the northern Sharon (Hadera and environs),
and in the Negev. In the summer, it becomes more common as people spend more
time outdoors. It is transmitted by the dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and
the tick’s bite causes a characteristic rash. The dog itself is only a carrier
and does not show any illness.
The bacillus spread by the tick is called
is Rickettsia conorii, which is also associated with Marseilles fever,
tick typhus, South African tick bite fever, Indian tick typhus and
typhus. The frequency of Mediterranean spotted fever has increased
because of increased travel to endemic areas, including
Life-threatening complications or permanent disabilities may
result from a delayed diagnosis of Mediterranean spotted fever. But it
transmitted from one person to another. The earlier the right type of
antibiotics are administered, the easier the recovery. If not treated on
it can develop neurological complications and pneumonia, and in 2
cases it is fatal.
Dogs in the Hadera area and Negev, as well as their
living and play areas, should be treated for ticks with suitable
visiting rural areas or areas where dogs are kept, look for signs of
Babies and children, who are unlikely to feel ticks on their bodies,
checked behind the ears and near their genitals. The tick should not be
between the fingers, but removed with tweezers. After the tick is
removed, wash the clothing that was being worn.