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Wed Oct 31, 2018, 03:23 AM

Typhus outbreak in Los Angeles County surpasses 100 patients

The latest figures for Long Beach and Pasadena obtained by NBC News, 15 and 20, respectively, bring L.A. county's total to at least 107 new typhus patients in 2018, more than half of what the entire nation usually observes in an entire year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In the 2000s the number of patients diagnosed with typhus in Los Angeles county "did not exceed 20 cases per year," according to a county report. Observers say there's a correlation between the rise of typhus and the area's 47 percent increase in homelessness since 2012.

Nearly one in 10 area cases, according to the county's health department figures, was centered downtown, where squalid conditions in the skid row neighborhood, including piles of trash and conspicuous rats, have been blamed for exacerbating the outbreak.

A typhus infection can cause headache, high fever and, in rare cases, meningitis and death. According to the L.A. county health department website, it's contracted when "the feces from infected fleas are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in the skin or rubbed into the eyes."

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/typhus-outbreak-los-angeles-county-surpasses-100-patients-n926496

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