Multiple cases of typhus have been reported in Long Beach prompting concern with health officials about the flea-spread disease. The disease can cause organ damage in severe cases, sufferers endure mild symptoms like headache, fever and rash. There has been 12 reported cases in Long Beach, 9 cases in downtown Los Angeles and 20 cases in Pasadena.
Typhus is a disease caused by bacteria found in infected fleas that can come from cats, rats, opossums, and other stray animals. Accumulation of trash or overcrowding and poor hygiene is typically associated with the spread of the disease.
The disease is not uncommon in L.A. County but there has been a spike in cases in the downtown Los Angeles area, according to County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis.
“We strongly encourage pet owners to practice safe flea control and encourage all cities in the county to ensure maintenance of their trash cleanup and rodent control activities,” Dr. Muntu Davis, L.A. County health officer, said.
Pet owners are particularly at risk. The Department of Public Health recommends regular flea treatment for pets.