LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An outbreak of flea-borne typhus has hit downtown Los Angeles, the county Department of Public Health said Thursday.

Health officials say they are investigating several cases of flea-borne typhus, a disease that infected fleas can spread to humans. While the fleas can come from cats, rats, and opossums, pets and animals do not get sick from typhus.

In people, however, typhus can cause high fever, chills, headache, and rash. It is not transmitted from person to person and can be treated with antibiotics.

“Although typhus normally occurs throughout L.A. County, we are observing several cases in the downtown Los Angeles area,” 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.”

Typhus can spread in areas where there is an accumulation of trash that attracts wild animals like feral cats, rats and opossums.

To help prevent typhus, the department recommended that residents:
— Practice safe flea control.
— Use 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.
— Clear areas where rats and stray animals sleep, hide or find food, such as crawl spaces, attics or under decks, and wear gloves and a mask when clearing these areas.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Comments (130)
  1. Nan Allen says:

    Thanks again, California!

  2. That whole liberal nirvana thing, you sho do be rockin it. Think I’ll stay in my red state, thanks.

  3. Let them all in, with no health screening at all. Working out great eh?

  4. David Foster says:

    You made your bed Cali, now sleep in it with your fleas!

  5. George Rickle says:

    Why is this surprising ? Many diseases long not found in America is brought here by illegals. I recall an incident when my kids were going to school in TEXAS . Needed a check for tuberculosis. I asked why ? Was told because it is brought by illegals .

  6. Mark Desser says:

    Typhus is a bad killer.

  7. Sandy Johnson says:

    Eric Garcetti brought the fleas in when he got elected.

  8. Michael Hansen says:

    Why is this news? The place has been full of parasites for decades.

  9. Jay Savary says:

    Not a surprise. Chagas, typhoid, TB, measles, they are all on the rebound. What a country gets from unscreened immigration, people knew this 100 years ago. There’s even 1600+ cases of leprosy in the US. Sleep well lefties.

  10. Welcome to 3rd world California. You brung it on yourselves.

  11. Dan Brower says:

    Well, Shazzzzaamm!!! Who would have thought the homeless and the drug using community would be dirty, filthy, bug infested, and carry diseases?

  12. Gary Griffin says:

    No habla ingles.

  13. Donny Dingle says:

    Can Typhus infect Conservatives as well as Liberals? O just west coast Liberals?

  14. LA – The Mayor should be fired. All the sickness, disease is coming in from Mexico to a neighborhood near you! California gets what it deserves voting for these pitiful excuses for leadership.

  15. Harve Morgan says:

    Feral cat colonies. And Breeder Barnette wants to spend $800,000 to continue these colonies. Next thing she’ll try to do is convince us we need ‘community dogs’, free roaming dogs. It’s time to take issue with the the TNR movement and how it allows disease to spread. Not even to mention that TNR is the ultimate cruelty to cats.

    1. Elena George says:

      Not really. Paris in the Middle Ages decoded to kill all its feral cats which to that point had controlled the rat and other rodent populations. The result was the plague. Cats keep rodents and snakes in check. Call them “working cats” if you like. They are perfectly at home in the outdoors.

      TNR is very effective at controlling the expansion of feral cat colonies. It stops the rampant breeding. It also improves the overall health of the cats in the colonies. Without TNR, you end up with the mass killing of ferals and the vacuum effect where that colony had been. The empty spot makes a place for a new colony to set up shop.

      https://www.alleycat.org/ to get the facts about Trap Neuter Return (TNR) and its positive effect on the lives of the humans and the cats in a neighborhood.

      Cats are the one pet who can live just fine outside without human intervention.

  16. Scotty Gunn says:

    You all can thank a democrat for this.

  17. Strange. There was no problem before California opened its arms to illegals.

  18. Thomas Lawrence says:

    You listed a lot of vectors, but left out the most prevalent, demonicRATS

  19. Shocking, coming soon to other Democrat Communist cities.

  20. THIS DOES ***NOT*** COME FROM HOMELESS OR MEXICANS OR OTHER ILLEGALS. AND IF ANYONE SAYS IT DOES, THEY WILL BE SORRY….

    1. Andrew Clayterman says:

      It comes from homeless, mexicants and other illegals! I’ll meet you at Home Depot..

  21. Alben Parkley says:

    Wait ’til rat-borne Hantavirus arrives………………….but then it’ll be too late!

  22. Jakob Stagg says:

    What’s next in Looney Land? The Black Plague?

  23. Hugh Glass says:

    Something serious I hope.

  24. Richard A Hooks says:

    Thanks dims we will never become a third world %@&^ (^%$ country without you.

  25. You make your bed with the homeless and illegals and you are bound to pick up more than fleas.

  26. Handy Andy says:

    Thanks Mayor Eric Garcetti. I guess you can add this to your list of accomplishments when you run for president in 2020.

  27. Martin Deano says:

    Maybe the wall should be built around L.A.

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