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Trash heaps in the heart of Los Angeles continue to grow months after several typhoid fever cases: report

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The trash is a growing problem for the residents in Los Angeles and as the garbage piles up, so do the rats, fuelling worries about fleas caused typhoid fever, according to reports.

In October last year, after at least nine reports of the disease, Los Angeles officials cleared up some of the worst piles of garbage, NBC Los Angeles reported. But now, the trash has accumulated again.

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“I can’t walk down the street without thinking that a flea jumped on me,” Estela Lopez, executive director of the LA Downtown Industrial Business Improvement District, told the outlet.

It would reportedly take up to 90 days for the trash to be removed again, according to NBC Los Angeles. The outlet also reported that the city has no plan for controlling the rodent population.

All this waste attracts rats, which “pose a public health risk,” an infectious disease specialist told the outlet, because the rodents can lead to the spread of salmonella, and bubonic plague — and not to mention fleas that are infected with typhoid fever.

At least nine people were sick with typhus in the heart of Los Angeles, between July and September, with officials, to disclaim, to refuse and stray animals as possible catalysts, according to the reports of October.

Typhoid fever is a disease caused by bacteria found in infected fleas that can come from cats, rats, opossums and other stray animals. Accumulation of waste, or overcrowding and poor hygiene is usually associated with the spread of the disease.

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Symptoms usually begin within two weeks of exposure and may include fever, chills, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and rash.

Symptoms can usually be managed on their own, but in severe cases may need antibiotics. People with severe cases that prevent a treatment can lead to damage or even death.

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While the disease cannot be transmitted from human to human, there is no vaccine available. Patients can reduce their risk of contracting typhoid fever by avoiding contact with fleas and avoid areas where rodents are found.

According to NBC Los Angeles, Los Angeles County reported 124 cases of typhoid last year.

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

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