Murine typhus must be considered in cases of meningoencephalitis

THE first case of murine typhus (MT) occurring in NSW since the 1940s has been reported in a 20-year-old rural man who became ill after contact with a pet rat. 

The case is the first in Australia of MT causing isolated meningoencephalitis with raised intracranial pressure, neurologists said. The man recovered after antibiotic treatment and 17 days in hospital. 

“The case illustrates that MT should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with ‘aseptic’ meningitis or meningoencephalitis with or without raised intracranial pressure,” they wrote.