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Increase In Flea-Borne Typhus Will Prompt LB Health Dept. Notice



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(June 28, 2021, 1:30 p.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned of a recent increase in murine (flea-borne) typhus in Long Beach of sufficient concern to the LB Health Dept. that it plans to issue a public notice soon on the matter and how the public can protect itself.

LBREPORT.com inquired about the matter after former Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, a registered nurse practitioner, indicated on her Facebook page that her granddaughter had contracted murine typhus and is now recovering after several days of intense anti-bacterial treatments in a local hospital. Typhus (not to be confused with typhoid, an entirely separate disease) isn't communicated person-to-person but flea-to-person.

Ms. Schipske, who lives near El Dorado Park, speculates an infected flea from one of the area's possums bit one of the neighborhood's dogs and cats whose fleas then bit her granddaughter.

The CDC's typhus webpage states in pertinent part:

Flea-borne typhus is spread to people through contact with infected fleas. Fleas become infected when they bite infected animals, such as rats, cats, or opossums. When an infected flea bites a person or animal, the bite breaks the skin, causing a wound. Fleas poop when they feed. The poop (also called flea dirt) can then be rubbed into the bite wound or other wounds causing infection. People can also breathe in infected flea dirt or rub it into their eyes. This bacteria is not spread from person to person. Flea-borne typhus occurs in tropical and subtropical climates around the world including areas of the United States (southern California, Hawaii, and Texas). Flea-borne typhus is a rare disease in the United States...

There is no vaccine to prevent flea-borne typhus.

Reduce your risk of getting flea-borne typhus by avoiding contact with fleas.

  • Keep fleas off of your pets. Use veterinarian-approved flea control products for cats and dogs such as flea collars, oral medication or spot-ons. Permethrin should not be used on cats. Animals that are allowed outside are more likely to come in contact with fleas and could bring them inside.

  • Keep rodents and animals (e.g. opossums) away from your home, workplace, and recreational areas:

  • Store food, including pet food, in tight sealing containers.

  • Remove brush, rock piles, junk, and cluttered firewood outside of your home.

  • Seal up holes in your home where rodents can enter.

  • Keep tight lids on compost and trash cans.

The CDCís rodents website offers helpful suggestions on rodent control during and after a rodent infestation.

Protect yourself from flea bites:

Do not feed or pet stray or wild animals.

Always wear gloves if you are handling sick or dead animals.

Use EPA-registered insect repellents on your skin and clothing when spending time outside. Always follow instructions listed on the product label.










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Since Jan. 1, Zendejas' CD 1 has had 31 shootings (fatal + wounding + casings recovered); Saro's adjacent CD 6 has had thirty one, while CD 2 (Cindy Allen) had eight (prior to the June 26 triple shooting.)

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The City Council has thus far declined to restore LBPD's field anti-gang unit (22 sworn positions) among roughly 200 sworn officers erased by a previous Council (2009-2014) that included then-Councilman (now Mayor) Robert Garcia. In Sept, 2020, Councimemers voted 9-0 to support a FY 21 budget that defunded another 48 sworn officers on top of the roughly 200 not restored.

As indicated above, Chief Luna acknowledged that LBPD has relied on overtime to deplly additional officers in response to recent shootings (including three homicides) in other parts of Long Beach.


Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.


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