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Outbreak of Flea-Borne Disease Hits Downtown L.A., County Health Official Warns

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Public health authorities are investigating an outbreak of flea-borne typhus in downtown Los Angeles.

County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis announced this week that although typhus can occur throughout the county, several cases have occurred in the downtown area.

Typhus is a disease caused by bacteria found in infected fleas that can come from many kinds of animals including cats, rats and opossums. Symptoms can include high fever, chills, headaches and rashes.

Accumulations of trash that attract animals like rats may increase the risk of exposure.

Typhus is treated with antibiotics. It is not transmitted person-to-person.

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