Victims of typhus were simply not trying hard enough to stay healthy; they allowed themselves to be overtaken by the virus.
Yet those fears were borne out when, at the age of five, Allegra died of typhus.
In the 18th century, German immigrants coming to Pennsylvania boarded ships plagued with typhus, dysentery, smallpox, and scurvy.
acute infectious fever, 1785, from Modern Latin (De Sauvages, 1759), from Greek typhos "stupor caused by fever," literally "smoke," from typhein "to smoke," related to typhos "blind," typhon "whirlwind," ultimately origin unknown. The disease so called from the prostration that it causes.
typhus ty·phus (tī'fəs)
Any of several forms of infectious disease caused by Rickettsia, especially those transmitted by fleas, lice, or mites, and characterized generally by severe headache, sustained high fever, depression, delirium, and the eruption of red rashes on the skin. Also called camp fever, prison fever.
Any of several forms of an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Rickettsia transmitted by fleas, mites, or especially lice, and characterized by severe headache, high fever, and skin rash. Louse-born bacteria that cause typhus are especially virulent and can cause epidemics of the disease, which may be fatal in people with weakened immune systems.