What does typhus mean?

Definitions for typhus
ˈtaɪ fəsty·phus

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word typhus.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. typhus, typhus fevernoun

    rickettsial disease transmitted by body lice and characterized by skin rash and high fever


  1. typhusnoun

    One of several similar diseases, characterised by high recurrent fever, caused by Rickettsiae bacteria. Not to be confused with typhoid fever.


  1. Typhus

    Typhus, also known as typhus fever, is a group of infectious diseases that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and a rash. Typically these begin one to two weeks after exposure.The diseases are caused by specific types of bacterial infection. Epidemic typhus is due to Rickettsia prowazekii spread by body lice, scrub typhus is due to Orientia tsutsugamushi spread by chiggers, and murine typhus is due to Rickettsia typhi spread by fleas.Vaccines have been developed, but none are commercially available. Prevention is achieved by reducing exposure to the organisms that spread the disease. Treatment is with the antibiotic doxycycline. Epidemic typhus generally occurs in outbreaks when poor sanitary conditions and crowding are present. While once common, it is now rare. Scrub typhus occurs in Southeast Asia, Japan, and northern Australia. Murine typhus occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.Typhus has been described since at least 1528. The name comes from the Greek tûphos (τῦφος), meaning hazy or smoky and commonly used as a word for delusion, describing the state of mind of those infected. While "typhoid" means "typhus-like", typhus and typhoid fever are distinct diseases caused by different types of bacteria. Note, however, that in some languages such as German, typhus does mean "typhoid fever".


  1. typhus

    Typhus is a group of infectious diseases caused by certain bacteria that are transmitted to humans through parasites such as fleas, lice, and ticks. Symptoms often include fever, headache, and rash. There are several types of typhus, including epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine or endemic typhus, each caused by different bacteria and transmitted by different vectors.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Typhusnoun

    a contagious continued fever lasting from two to three weeks, attended with great prostration and cerebral disorder, and marked by a copious eruption of red spots upon the body. Also called jail fever, famine fever, putrid fever, spottled fever, etc. See Jail fever, under Jail


  1. Typhus

    Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters. The causative organism is Rickettsia prowazekii, transmitted by the human body louse. Feeding on a human who carries the bacillus infects the louse. R. prowazekii grows in the louse's gut and is excreted in its feces. The disease is then transmitted to an uninfected human who scratches the louse bite and rubs the feces into the wound. The incubation period is one to two weeks. R. prowazekii can remain viable and virulent in the dried louse feces for many days. Typhus will eventually kill the louse, though the disease will remain viable for many weeks in the dead louse.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Typhus

    tī′fus, n. an extremely contagious and very fatal kind of continued fever, specially associated with filth and overcrowding, often occurring as an epidemic—Jail-fever, Camp-fever, &c.—adj. Ty′phous, relating to typhus. [Through Late L. from Gr. typhos, smoke, hence stupor arising from fever—typhein, to smoke.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of typhus in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of typhus in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of typhus in a Sentence

  1. Erika Lee:

    Whether it be typhus and Irish immigrants and the bubonic plague and Chinese immigrants, cholera and Russian Jews, when Mexican immigrants were coming across the border after an outbreak of typhus in El Paso, they were literally sprayed with insecticide.

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"typhus." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/typhus>.

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