Typhus Outbreak Hits Downtown LA

There have been nine cases of the flea-borne disease in recent months
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2018 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Health officials are working to get a handle on an outbreak of typhus in downtown Los Angeles. Nine cases of the flea-borne disease were reported between July and September, the Los Angeles Times reports, adding that there are typically about 200 cases reported nationwide each year. Typhus is caused by a bacteria in infected fleas, according to the CDC. Rats are a common carrier of the fleas that cause typhus, but cats and opossums can also carry fleas infected with the bacteria. Symptoms include fever, rash, and body aches, among others. Most people recover on their own. But severe cases can cause organ damage. In downtown Los Angeles, officials are now reportedly working to clear rubbish and catch animals to stem the spread of typhus. (In Hong Kong, a human was infected with so-called rat hepatitis for the first time in history.)

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