Reading 2 mins.
in collaboration with
Dr Gérald Kierzek (Medical Director of Doctissimo)
This is a rare case that occurred in the United States: after experiencing flu-like symptoms, an American was hospitalized before going into septic shock. He was treated in the intensive care unit for typhus, which caused him to lose both hands and toes. The explanations of Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of Doctissimo.
A 35-year-old American, Michael Kohlhof, has contracted typhus, a disease transmitted to him by a flea bite.
What is typhus?
The 35-year-old fell victim to flu-like symptoms on June 19, along with fever and stomach pain. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he was taken to hospital.
Shortly after his admission, he was moved to the intensive care unit, without anyone being able to understand why his condition had deteriorated.
In reality, Michael Kohlhof, who was close to death several times during his stay in the hospital, was affected by typhus, an infection caused by bacteria of the rickettsia family, transmitted by lice, fleas or acarians.
Typhus is a serious illness that can damage organs, such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart or even the brain. Faced with the infection, there is an effective antibiotic treatment, there Doxycycline which makes it possible to treat the different forms of typhus in the vast majority of cases. If the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance is now frequent, no case has been mentioned to date concerning this pathology.
Gangrene, caused by a lack of blood supply
But how come his hands and toes were amputated? When asked, Dr Gérald Kierzek explains:
“Wanting to treat him, the doctors gave him vasopressors, such as norepinephrine, which helps maintain blood pressure. It was this constriction of the vessels that reduced the blood flow to his extremities and led to their necrosis.”
Michael Kohlhof finally came out of his artificial coma on July 1. If his life is no longer in danger, his relatives fear that part of his feet will still have to be amputated.
A collection has been launched to help this young man and it has already reached more than 100,000 dollars. https://www.gofundme.com/f/more-miracles-for-michael