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5 Ways Fleas Can Make People Sick

adult fleaWhen you think about fleas, most people tend to think about the nuisance of dealing with a flea infestation with your pets. You may be concerned about the illnesses that they may cause in your pets, but most people do not think about the dangers that fleas can pose to humans. Here are five diseases that you can catch from fleas.


Typhus


Typhus is a serious illness that can be spread by flea bites. Symptoms of typhus include fever, chills, aches, vomiting, stomach pain and loss of appetite. A rash will usually develop about five days after the onset of the disease. Some people can recover on their own, but other people may have serious complications and need treatment with antibiotics.


Tapeworms


Tapeworms are more common in cats and dogs, but they can spread to humans. The tapeworms are spread through fleas. Most people with tapeworms experience unexplained weight loss. They may be more tired than normal and have abdominal pain. Some people do not have any symptoms, but you may notice rice size pieces in your stool. This can be treated with medication.


Mycoplasma Haemofelis


This is a disease that can be spread through fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. It usually affects cats, but it has been known to spread to humans with weak immune systems. In cats, it destroys red blood cells and can cause severe anemia.  If your cat is diagnosed with this, and you have a compromised immune system, you should talk to your doctor about being tested for the disease.


Plague


Fleas are known carriers of the plague which wiped out millions of people in the 14th and 17th centuries. There are three different types of plague. Some symptoms include fever, chills and headaches. Depending on the type you may develop swollen lymph nodes, a sever cough or severe abdominal pain. It is important to seek medical treatment if you think you have the plague since it can be treated with antibiotics.


Cat Scratch Fever


Cat scratch fever is transmitted to cats through fleas, and then the cat will spread it to humans. In order for a person to catch it, an infected cat must either scratch a person and break the skin or lick an open would or scab.  Small children and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk of contracting the disease.


Read Why Are Some People Bitten More by Mosquitoes?

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