"...with the quickening spring, crept into the Orphan Asylum, breathed typhus through its crowded school-room and dormitory..." (pg. 77)
Typhus is a bacteria-related disease that is most commonly spread by lice or fleas. There are two types of typhus, murine and endemic, that are caused by two different types of bacteria. Murine typhus is rarely ever deadly and lasts about two to to three weeks. Endemic typhus usually only occurs in places of poor hygiene and cold temperatures. Since the hygiene was probably not top-notch at Lowood and the severely cold weather was only then beginning to abate, endemic typhus was probably what killed so many of the girls at Lowood. Bronte's use of typhus lets the reader know that the conditions of Lowood were not very good and that the girls were not taken very good care of.