ALERT! California Typhus Outbreak
Over 100 patients in Los Angeles have been hospitalized due to a flea borne illness know as typhus . Illness is mostly confined to the skid row area of Los Angeles. The homeless population increased by almost 50% since 2012 which is adding to the problem of unsanitary conditions.
The disease in the L.A. outbreak is known as murine typhus and can spread to people from infected flea bites or feces of infected fleas. Those feces have bacteria called Rickettsia typhi, according to the CDC.
The disease is not spread from person to person but from the infected feces of fleas. The feces are rubbed accidentally into scrapes or cuts in the skin, people become sick.
Typhus infects fleas found on dogs, cats, rats, and opossums. Animals carrying typhus themselves do not get sick.