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LA Grapples With Typhus As It Spreads To Epidemic Levels

Pasadena, the city in Los Angeles County again faces an epidemic. While in a normal year at most 5 Typhus infections occur, the past two months have witnessed 20 infections. Besides Pasadena, Long Beach is also immensely affected by the disease (12 cases have been reported this year). The public health department of Los Angeles has informed that in rest of the county, 9 cases have been reported since July 2018. Both these cities have their own health departments where this fever has been declared as an epidemic.

The health departments informed that the infection has spread from the fleas which reside on the wild animals and pets. When the cuts or scrapes on the skin are exposed to these fleas, the disease spreads. Discussing the root cause of Typhus, the medics informed that most of the people suffering from this disease are homeless people. The residents of the county denied this fact and are blaming the hot summer, the nearby wildlife canyon and the Angeles National Forest for this epidemic. The disease has spread mainly in the downtown area of Los Angeles County.

Union Rescue Mission has reserved 1,400 beds for people who do not want to visit the downtown during this epidemic. The CEO of this NGO, Andy Bales, is himself affected by this disease and is suffering from a leg amputation. He stated that many of the homeless people at Skid Row have infected pets which include rats, cats and opossums. Another NGO, Skid Row Services informs that the number of people living on the sidewalks have increased in leaps and bounds. The county has become a refugee camp with almost 102,955 homeless citizens. Typhus is a viral fever which causes high fever, headaches, body ache, rashes, chills and meningitis.

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