Jessie ----
by on October 21, 2018
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The bacterial infection, Typhus is on the rise in Los Angeles, and many other US cities. And this is due to the increase of homeless living on the streets in tent cities. So far this year, Los Angeles County has seen 64 cases of typhus, compared to last year, in which there were 53 cases reported.
Two cities in the county that have separate counts are also seeing higher numbers: Long Beach with 13 cases, up from five last year, and Pasadena with 20, a more than three-fold increase from 2017. There is also a clinic on "skid row", in Los Angeles, that has seen many of these cases, and are still keeping a watchful eye, as patients come to the clinic.
Symptoms include a non specific fever, body aches, sometimes a headache, sometimes a rash.
And this kind of typhus is spread by rats opossums, or even pets and is known as murine typhus, from the Latin word for “mouse.” Well, with all the human waste and garbage on the streets, its no wonder, it draws vermin. And it's quite common to be found among the homeless who live amid all the garbage.
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston says it's never been considered a very common disease. Typhus seems to be extending across from Southern California all along the Mexican border into southeastern Texas and then into the Gulf Coast in Florida.
When you let unvaccinated and poorly hygiene people in, what do they expect?
Last year there were 519 cases alone.
Doctors say this is a separate disease from typhoid fever and is not the epidemic form of typhus that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in war time. That type, called epidemic typhus, is carried by body lice and often spreads in conflict zones.
But in California and Texas, this flea borne typhus is serious but often clears up on its own and responds to an antibiotic. Some disease specialists say the cause has been contributed from migration, urbanization and climate change. Murine typhus is one of several diseases on the rise in the southern United States.
Earlier this year, the CDC said “vector-borne” diseases, transmitted by ticks, fleas or mosquitoes, more than doubled in the United States between 2004 and 2016.
The flea borne typhus in Los Angeles has the medical field on alert. Meanwhile officials in Los Angeles say they are working toward housing for the county’s 53,000 homeless residents to relieve conditions that help give rise to typhus and other diseases. Voters approved funding in 2016 and 2017 to finance the efforts.
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