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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Typhus! (Part One)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Sunday, October 04, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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An epidemic of typhus strikes a community, leaving its residents fearing for their very lives.

I.

There is a silent killer amongst us, and it's stalking us, looking for any potential victims it can devour.

It all started last week.  Some rats were found in Old Man Stedman's barn; because of this, some people have sickened with a terrible disease called typhus.  Typhus is serious; if it isn't dealt with, it can quickly kill.  Worst of all, it is the kind that spreads:  going from one person to another.

Doctors are advising us to stay home, to stay away from other, in case they come down with typhus.  If someone does get it, we are to stay away from that person, or, if we have been exposed to it, help that person as best as we can before help arrives, and pray we don't get it next.

So far, nobody in my immediate family (husband or my four kids) have come down with it.  Don't want them to either; this is why the kids are to stay inside and home from school.  No playing except indoors, even on sunny days.  Can't take any chances.

II.

Our worst fears have been realized.  My husband has taken ill, as have two of my children.  Ebeziah and our sons Quillon and Patrick have fallen ill with typhus.  They have the obvious signs of the disease:  extremely high fevers, severe chills, muscle/joint pains, severe headaches, dry, rattling cough that shakes their very bodies, delirium, a dull, red rash that's spread, sensitivity to light. 

We are waiting for the doctor now, to see if that is what they have.

I am scared, very scared!

Later:

That is exactly what my family has, meaning Ebeziah, Quillan, and Patrick.  Typhus.  They have the worst kind:  epidemic.  Apparently they were exposed to it when I wasn't looking.  They might die; there is really nothing anyone can do except try to lower their fevered bodies, give them water to drink, keep them warm, comfortable, let the disease run its course.

All I can do now is pray to God, ask Him to spare my sick family members.  It is all up to Him, and Him alone.

III.

Unfortunately, I have sad news.  My husband has died.  My boys have survived; they are, however, extremely weakened.  It is going to take weeks before they get over the full effects of the typhus fever. 

I am overtaken with grief; my main source of joy, the head of the house, is gone!  Just like that:  one minute he was here, full of love, life, and joy, and the next:  sick, then dying only days later, of a terrifying illness that few people understand.

I should be happy, knowing little Patrick and Quillan have survived; yet I can't.  My husband is dead.  DEAD!!  I don't know what I am going to do without him, or what is going to become of us, the surviving members of the family! 

I can't work because I have obligations for my children; I also have my elderly mother to take care of!  (She lost her husband only a week ago to the typhus fever.  She is beside herself in mourning as well.)

I don't know what is going to become of us, of the surviving members of our community:  the typhus is still running rampant, with no end in sight.  It seems as soon as one person gets over it, several more people die!  Oh, when is it ever going to end??  I don't think I can take too much of this fear; it's a horrible way to live!!

*To be continued.*

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Typhus is one of a group of diseases caused by rickettsaie. 

*Name comes from the Greek word, "typhos", which means "smoggy or hazy"; this describes the state of mind of those affected.

*Caused by an obligate parasite and cannot survive for long outside living cells.

*Typhus should NOT be confused with TYPHOID FEVER; these two diseases are NOT related!!

Symptoms of Typhus:

a.)  Murine Typhus                             b.)  Epidemic Typhus

*abdominal pain                                                *chills

*back pain                                                           *dry, hacking cough

*dull red rash that spreads                              *delirium

*extremely high fever (105-106)                      *joint pain

*hacking, dry cough                                           *low blood pressure

*severe headache                                             *red rash that spreads

*joint pains                                                          *photophobia

*nausea                                                               *severe headache

*vomiting.                                                             *severe muscle pain

                                                                               *stupor, then coma.

________________________________________________________

**Without treatment, typhus CAN be FATAL, particularly the EPIDEMIC form of the disease!!**

**PROMPT treatment with antibiotics cures nearly every patient!!

Back in the late 1800's, when this story takes place, there was really nothing that could be done except try to keep the victims comfortable and isolated from other people, particularly if the epidemic form of typhus was present!  Many people died because treatment was too late or help wasn't readily available, nothing like it is today.

Typhus is virtually unheard of in the developed world; however it still can strike without any warning in underdeveloped nations where sanitation, rat infestation, other variables are an issue.


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Reviewed by Emile Tubiana 10/5/2009
Dear Karen Lynn,
God knows how much I know this terrible illness. During World War II,
my entire family fell ill and without any medical care. We lost 20 members of our family. But thank God, my mom, my dad, my sisters, and my brother were spared, after fourty one days witout conscience. I wrote enough about it in my book which will be soon published. Love Emile
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 10/5/2009
A powerful and heartbreaking story, Karen, very well done!
peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Inspire Hope 10/5/2009
You have done it again Karen! A very powerful, yet sad story! Yet it is so good to know that there is hope, thank you for sharing and caring! Well done Karen!


Love And Prayers
Always!!
Inspire
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 10/5/2009
Approaching 2010 and old typhus still around? Shouldn't the GOP have give the money to researchers instead to corrupt bankers?

Georg

Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 10/5/2009
Very educational and well written. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, J'nia
Reviewed by Paul Berube 10/5/2009
Great story line, Karen. Well written.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 10/4/2009
A powerful story here Karen, thank you for sharing
In Christs Love
Michelle~
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 10/4/2009
Steven King developer! Would be a great horror story about wiping out an entire town! You're right, in the 1800s, nothing could be done, only the saddlebag doctors doling out turpentine to the afflicted, yep, that's what doctors prescribed, turpentine for what ailed people in those days...thanks for the info on Typhus, Karen Lynn...you educate the masses...

Love,
Sage
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/4/2009
Karen,

An excellent write, very well written and informative. Well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Cindy Tuttle 10/4/2009
Sounds like an awful and sad illness. Thank you for your research and information Karen. I don't know how you have so much creativty and wonderful stories. Well- maybe I do. God is good. He gave you a great gift and you are using it.I am sure glad you are. Have a great night.

With Love,
Cindy


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