City worker infected in LA typhus outbreak

Rats are running rampant outside - and inside - Los Angeles City Hall - and city officials are racing to get the infestation under control amid a "terrifying" typhus outbreak.

Los Angeles's homelessness crisis has quite literally reached the offices of City Hall.

As such, City Council President Herb Wesson made a motion asking for a report on the scope of the vermin problem at the City Hall as well as adjoining buildings. According to The Times, rats have been spotted at various city-held events, including a Halloween celebration previous year during which a rat was observed gnawing on a decorative pumpkin.

"Employees shouldn't have to come to work anxious about rodents", Wesson said he told the outlet, adding that he "intend (s) to do whatever it is we need" to eliminate the problem.

Wesson is seeking an estimate of costs to remove all the carpeting from the buildings and replace it will alternative flooring. Back then, authorities noted that the outbreak in some areas were already at epidemic levels, and that both wild and domestic animals were the main culprits for the illnesses, as well as the inhumane conditions in which some people move and live in.

The California Department of Public Health first reported the flea-borne typhus outbreak in L.A. County in October and said that the affected area included large parts of downtown where homeless populations sleep, including Skid Row.

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Los Angeles is now coping with an outbreak of typhus, a tick and flea-borne disease commonly spread by vermin such as rats, cats and possums.

KCAL9's Sara Donchey spoke to a city attorney who contracted typhus this past November and she had a case that was worse than just a headache and chills.

Greenwood never thought showing up for work at City Hall could leave her fighting for her life. His motion also calls for a tally of live plants in every city-owned or operated building downtown.

"It is terrifying to me that there could be this kind of health risk out there and the city attorney's office didn't even tell anybody".

He's also pushing for a policy requiring employees to secure their food after hours and for custodians to toss out food that's left out. Murine, or endemic, typhus the strain in Los Angeles, infects people when infected flea feces are rubbed into cuts or scrapes in skin.

In a typical case of typhus, symptoms are much like those of the flu, including headaches, a high temperature, dry coughs, vomiting, and joint pain.

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