Orange County On Alert After Flea-Borne Typhus Detected in Several Areas

Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control urge individuals to prioritize their safety and that of their pets by taking necessary precautions against flea-borne typhus.

“The transmission of bacteria occurs when fleas bite and leave their feces on the wounds, leading to infection in humans who scratch the affected areas. Once infected, individuals become hosts and may experience symptoms,” clarified Lora Young, the Manager of OC Vector Control District.

According to her, there are symptoms such as a rash and a fever. The majority of cases are mild, although a small portion may necessitate hospitalization. According to Young, pets such as dogs and cats may not be directly impacted by flea-borne typhus, but they can still serve as carriers for the infected fleas.

“To ensure the well-being of your pets and family, it is important to maintain year-round flea control medication for your pets. Additionally, it is advisable to minimize areas that may serve as habitats for animals like possums, raccoons, and feral cats,” advised Young.

OC Mosquito and Vector Control is currently collecting and testing fleas for the disease. Notices have been prominently displayed in public spaces such as Tustin Legacy Park, alerting individuals to the presence of the illness.

Posters have been put up in response to the discovery of typhus-positive fleas in the vicinity.

“We do not engage in any spraying for typhus,” Young stated. “If we were to witness several cases in a tightly-knit area, that could potentially trigger the response. However, with just one case, it becomes crucial to focus on educating the community, raising awareness, and taking proactive measures.”

The OC Health Care Agency has reported a single confirmed case of human flea-borne typhus.