Los Angeles, CA–The Los Angeles Department of Health has reported cases of Typhus in downtown Los Angeles. Typhus develops when infected fleas that have been feeding on mice and other rodents jump on humans.
Symptoms of typhus include high fever, chills, headache, and rashes. It is treatable with antibiotics and is not transmitted from person to person.
Pasadena has had 20 reported cases of typhus. 12 cases of typhus have also been reported in Long Beach.
Typus spreads in areas that have high levels of trash which attract wild animals such as possums, rats and wild cats.
Outbreaks occur when infected flea feces gets into open cuts or wounds and the eyes of humans.
Homeless encampments have become breeding grounds for typhus which has health officials scrambling to stop the spread.
Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis said in a statement,
“We encourage pet owners to practice safe flea control and encourage all cities in the county to ensure maintenance of their trash clean-up and rodent control activities.”
To help prevent typhus, the department recommended that residents and the homeless practice safe flea control by:
-Using flea control products on pets.
-When outside, wear pants tucked into socks or boots when outside. Spray insect repellent with DEET on socks and pant cuffs.
-Avoid being near wild or stray animals.
-Never feed or touch wild animals, especially opossums, rats and stray or feral cats.
-Store trash in cans with secure lids to avoid attracting animals.