Flea-Born Typhus Outbreak Hits LA
Fleas are no strangers to LA; however, in the past year an outbreak of Typhus has come to Southern California according to the local Department of Public Health (DPH). So far in 2018, 57 cases have been reported, 20 of which originated in Pasadena alone. The most common cases, especially downtown, were shown in individuals who had experienced homelessness or had lived in interim housing facilities.
The disease is rarely deadly, and as of the current outbreak there have been no reported fatalities. However, it is important to identify the causes and factors surrounding the virus so that you may be better prepared. Here is some important information regarding fleas and the spreading disease:
While carried by fleas, the virus can infect rats, cats, opossums and dogs without the animal becoming ill. For these reasons, it is best to avoid stray animals.
Any household pets (like dogs or cat) should be protected from animal flea products approved by a veterinarian. This will keep fleas from entering the home.
Rickettsia typhi and R. felis are the bacteria carried by fleas that can spread to humans. These bacteria are often contracted when flea feces are rubbed into cuts and scrapes on the skin.
Symptoms typically set in 7 to 14 days after exposure. Here are the signs to watch for:
o Abrupt onset fever
o Muscle/abdominal pain
Rashes sometimes appear after a week. As of now, there are no vaccines for typhus, yet it can be treated with antibiotics.
Here are protective measures you can take to avoid infection:
o Wear pants tucked into socks/boots when outside
o Spray insect repellent with diethyltoluamide (DEET) on socks and pant cuffs
o Store trash in cans with secure lids
o Secure all crawl spaces and other openings around your house where stray animals and rodents may enter.
o Wear gloves & a mask when cleaning these areas
o Wash hands afterwards
Following these steps will protect you, your family and your pets from serious outbreak. Should you show signs of the symptoms or know you have contracted typhus, contact your local physician immediately.
Should you have fleas, stray animals or rodents around your property, contact UnBug Me Pest Control for a treatment today. You can reach us at (818) 510-0629 or click the link below to schedule your treatment.