Wednesday about 1230 EDT Hurricane Michael hit Florida. The news, and rightly so has been showing the devastation that the storm left.
On the west coast a different storm. No wind no rain no destroyed buildings. Also no news coverage past the little blurbs here and there. Since July to October 10th, in LA Country there have been 57 Typhus cases. That is worrisome. Typhus we normally see in depressed areas of the country and world. LA is not a 3rd world country.
Armon Coleman, 63, looks over his belongings, left, at his homeless encampment along W. 94th Street in the Manchester Square neighborhood on Jan. 4, 2017 in Los Angeles. LAX has bought much of the property from homeowners over the past years and will eventually build a rental car facility at the site. In the meantime, the homeless are sleeping on sidewalks outside the fenced lots that are owned by LAX. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS).
Or is it?
As much as we would LIKE to think LA is 3rd world it is not. It has major issues but once you have seen a war torn or real 3rd world country you will immediately see my point.
Typhus is making a come back.
The CDC has been following the resurgence of it here in the US. During 2003–2013, a total of 1,762 cases were reported to the CDC. The break down of the cases is 27 in 2003 to 222 in 2013. An average of 102 cases were reported yearly during 2003–2007, which is less than half (209) of the average number reported during 2008–2013.
There are dozens of reasons why. For right now lets forget the why. And focus on the Protect.
There are 3 main forms of Typhus:
endemic (murine) typhus, scrub typhus, and epidemic (louse-borne) typhus
The one currently infecting California is the endemic (murine) form. It is transmitted by fleas.
The how to protect is actually quite simple. Keep vermin out. Keep things clean. Keep your distance.
All the cases in LA county are in areas where homeless gather and live. Now before someone berates me for “picking” on the homeless. I am not. Just stating fact. Fact. Most city dwelling homeless do not have the resources to maintain sanitation. Where as the few homeless that abandon the cities have better sanitation. Fact. Vermin. Namely Rats and Mice live in close proximity to homeless camps. Why? Food. The homeless do not usually have access to the items to protect food. Homeless that live out side the cities have learned to use what is at hand to store and protect food. Fact. Homeless “dumpster dive” For both food and for items needed to survive. So do rats and mice.
During the middle ages, The Black Death decimated Europe. The cities of Europe were cities of the dead. The country side however suffered far less. But what about Texas? A friend on Facebook asked me that. She thought that Texas was sparely populated. Well the most cases this year are in Hildago Country Tx. The population is about 850,000. In my earlier statement It may be construed that I was attacking the homeless. In Texas, Typhus does NOT discriminate. As many from affluent neighborhoods as from poor get typhus. Once again How is that possible? Similar reasons as the homeless. Living in crowded conditions. Allowing vermin to “coexist” instead of eradicating them. (The “No kill traps are a prime example). Typhus does not care. Rich Poor Black White Yellow Green. It. Does. Not. Care.
The easiest defense of typhus is sanitation. Keep things clean. Keep vermin out. Dispose of waste quickly and properly.