Communicable Diseases Module: 36. Louse-Borne Diseases: Relapsing Fever and Typhus

Study Session 36  Louse-Borne Diseases: Relapsing Fever and Typhus


You already learned about the most widespread vector-borne disease in Ethiopia – malaria, transmitted by mosquitoes (Study Sessions 5 to 12 in Part 1 of this Module). Two other vector-borne diseases of public health importance in Ethiopia are the subject of this study session: they are caused by different bacteria, but are transmitted by the same vector – the human body louse (plural, lice). The diseases are louse-borne relapsing fever and louse-borne typhus, which are classified as febrile illnesses because the symptoms always include high fever. In this study session, you will learn about the causes, modes of transmission, symptoms and methods of prevention of these diseases. This will help you to identify patients and quickly refer them to the nearest health centre or hospital for specialist treatment. You are also expected to report any cases of these louse-borne diseases to the District Health Office, so that coordinated action can be taken to prevent an epidemic from spreading in your community.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 36