Downtown Los Angeles has got hit with an outbreak of Typhus named, which is borne by a flea. Pasadena is the hardest hit place. This week, Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health announced that they are investigating an outbreak of typhus illnesses, borne by a flea in the country. There are some areas which are already having an unusually high number of cases. The city of Pasadena appears to be the hardest hit with 20 cases already recorded, especially in the last two months. The health authorities in Pasadena describe the situation as reaching levels of an epidemic.
The health officials believe the primary culprit for the infections is fleas from both domestic as well as wild animals. Fleas that are infected by Typhus often come from animals such as cats, rats and opossums but they do get sick from it. Still, people might get infected and fall ill when they get bitten by an infected flea. The County Department of Public Health makes a note of the fact that those places, where accumulated trash attracts wild animals like rats, feral cats, might carry an infected flea, thus leading to an increased risk of exposure. They have encouraged pet owners to practice safe flea control and also ensure that all the cities in the country are kept clean.
Flea-borne Typhus is a bacterial disease, which gets caused by Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis. Cases related to this disease are recorded all over the world. Still, tropical and coastal locations are more at risk of infections. In the United States, Texas, Hawaii and California have the most number of cases every year with the illness getting considered as endemic. There are some people who experience fever, chills, headache and muscle ache within two weeks after coming in contact or bite. Some people even develop rashes, which begin at the chest and spread on to the sides and back. Around 2 to 4 percent of people tend to lose their lives, especially in those places where treatment is not available. A typical way to treat the disease is through antibiotics and recovery is expected within a few days.