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      Sylvatic typhus associated with flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) in New York State, United States.

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          Abstract

          Sylvatic typhus is an infrequent, potentially life-threatening emerging zoonotic disease. In January of 2009, the New York State Department of Health was notified of a familial cluster of two suspected cases. Due to the paucity of typhus cases in New York, epidemiologic and environmental investigations were conducted to establish rickettsial etiology and determine potential sources of infection. Patients presented with symptoms consistent with typhus, and serologic testing of each patient confirmed infection with typhus group rickettsiae. Serologic analysis of blood obtained from southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) captured from the attic crawlspace above an enclosed front porch of the cases' residence indicated evidence of infection with Rickettsia prowazekii, with 100% seroprevalence (n=11). Both patients reported spending significant time on the porch and hearing animal activity above the ceiling prior to onset of illness, implicating these flying squirrels as the likely source of infection.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis.
          Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
          Mary Ann Liebert Inc
          1557-7759
          1530-3667
          Apr 2014
          : 14
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ] 1 New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control , Albany, New York.
          Article
          10.1089/vbz.2013.1392
          24689928

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