One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A relatively mild, usually flea-borne form of typhus caused by Rickettsia typhi, of which rats are the major natural reservoir (also called endemic typhus). Also (occasionally): infection of a rat or other mammal by R. typhi.
1930s; earliest use found in Biological Abstracts. From murine + typhus, after French typhus murin.
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