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Diseases > Fleas

The topic of flea-borne disease is complex and presentation of information pertaining to it requires the use of technical terms. These terms are depicted in bold type and are explained in the glossary.

Fleas are vectors of two disease agents to humans, both of which are bacteria. The most important and by far the most familiar flea-borne disease in the world is plague. Plague exists in most arid regions of the world, including the western U.S. The second flea-borne disease is murine typhus, which occurs worldwide, including the southwestern U.S. and Hawaii.

Flea-borne diseases that occur in the U.S. are zoonoses. A disease that is a zoonosis can infect humans, but is maintained in nature in a non-human animal reservoir.

Where Can I Find More Information about Fleas, Flea Control, and Flea-Borne Diseases?
Several Web sites provide information on the biology and control of fleas, nearly all of which focus on the cat flea. The following Web sites are contain accurate and detailed information.

The following Web site is recommended for accurate and detailed information on fleas of public health risk, including information on plague and murine typhus.

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