Human flea; Common flea.
Taxonomic classification: Phylum: Arthropoda, Class: Insecta , Order: Siphonaptera, Genus: Pulex irritans (human flea)
There are over 1,600 species and subspecies of fleas that inhabit the earth’s diverse environment. Many of these fleas are parasites in the insect order Siphonaptera. Pulex irritans, also called the human flea, is not often seen in contemporary living quarters, but in the past this flea came in contact with all classes of people. Human blood is the preferred food of Pulex irritans, but it will feed on other mammals. Today, this species is most often found on pigs. Individuals that work with swine are some of the most likely people to become infested. In societies where personal hygiene is important, infestations by human fleas are not as common. Human fleas were extremely common before the development of modern standards in both hygiene and laundering. Most fleas, during that time, were found in a person’s bedding. In an attempt to decrease infestation, the Chinese placed warmed flea traps made of ivory or bamboo between the sheets before going to bed at night. During the Renaissance period, ladies frequently wore fur collars, called cravats, to catch the pestering fleas. The cravat could then be removed and shaken out to decrease the chance of coming in contact with any fleas. Pulex irritans is mainly a nuisance to humans. The flea’s saliva contains enzymes and histamine-like substances, which may cause an allergic reaction in some of their victims. These allergic reactions may involve an intense itching sensation. The parasite can also be a vector of a variety of diseases. Even though Pulex irritans was not the primary species responsible for spreading the bubonic plague throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, it is capable of transmitting it. Pulex irritans may also transmit murine typhus, tularemia, and tapeworm, but the chances of this are relatively rare. One disease, in particular, that Pulex irritans is known to transmit is murine typhus. Murine typhus is a mild form of typhus caused by the bacterium Rickettsia typhi. The fleas become infected with the bacterium by feeding on a human who has the disease. The bacteria grow in the epithelial cells lining the flea’s gut wall and are excreted in the insect’s feces. After approximately twelve to eighteen days, the infection will kill the flea. Scratching of a fleabite will infect a person. Rubbing of the bitten area will spread the flea’s infected feces into the wound. An infected person will experience headaches, marked prostration, malaise, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, and a rapid rise in temperature with fever after an incubation period of one to two weeks. Within four to six days after the initial symptoms appear a rash will form over most of the body.
Marked urinary and female symptoms.
Urine is scanty and frequent urging, pressure on bladder. Burning in uretra. Flow stops suddenly followed by pain. Urine smells foul, cannot retain urine; must attend to call without delay. Irritable bladder before menses.
Menses are delayed, increased flow of saliva during menses. Intense nausea with vomiting, purging and followed by faintness, during menses. Intense burning in vagina. Leucorrhoea, profuse, foul and greenish yellow in colour. Strain of menses and leucorrhoea are very hard to wash out. Backache with drawing pain in muscles below scapulae.
Fever with frontal headache, with sensation as if eyes are enlarge. Very impatient, cross and irritable. Foul breath and mentally taste in mouth. Sensation as if thread in mouth. Thirsty with headache. Fever with sensation of glow all over the body, like being over steam. Chilly, while sitting beside fire. Skin with prickly itching, sore spots all over the body which emits foul smell.
Complaints, worse by moving, on left side. Better by lying down and sitting.
Drug helps in higher potencies.