How is typhus diagnosed?

Blood tests for typhus are uncommon. It often takes a long time to get results, so most doctors diagnose typhus based on the patient's symptoms and whether he or she might have been exposed. The bacteria that cause typhus (Rickettsiae) are spread through the bites of ticks, mites, fleas or lice. Since the symptoms of typhus are similar to flu symptoms, be sure to tell your doctor if you may have been at risk. Some tests your doctor may use to make the bacteria easier to identify include immunofluorescence assay and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Both tests require a sample from the rash or blood.

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