DDT for the control of murine typhus fever
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DDT for the control of murine typhus fever

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      Murine typhus fever is a disease transmitted by rat ectoparasites, principally the rat fleas. In spite of measures that have been taken against this disease, it is now apparently on the increase. There are four organisms concerned in murine typhus fever: the causative parasite, the flea, the rat, and man. Rats, fleas, and man are links in the chain of typhus transmission. To control the disease, the chain of transmission must be broken at one of these links, preferably at the weakest, most vulnerable spot. Until recently control of murine typhus fever in human beings has been aimed at the rat link only. There is much to be said in behalf of the rodent control method of combating the disease. Rat control is the most reliable method if it can be accomplished. Other rodent-borne diseases are controlled at the same time, and economic loss caused by rodent damage is reduced. The general sanitary benefits are obvious. Rodent control is a long-range activity requiring well-trained personnel. DDT residual dusting, which has come into general use recently, is aimed a the flea link of the typhus chain. Although this attack gives only temporary results, it is rapid, relatively inexpensive, and is effected quickly. Only limted instruction is required for training dusting personnel. DDT dusting is not a substitute for rodent control; it is a supplement.

      I. Introduction -- II. The Disease-murine typhus fever -- III. Typhus control with DDT -- IV. Public relations suggestions -- V. Precautions in the use of DDT -- VI. Inspection for effectiveness of control work -- VII. Relation of DDT dusting program to other typhus control programs.

      Federal Security Agency, U. S. Public Health Service, Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta. Georgia.

      27 numbered pages

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