Flea-Borne Typhus Outbreak Among Homeless in Downtown LA

A flea-borne typhus outbreak among homeless in downtown Los Angeles triggered an investigation by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health after several cases were reported, the agency said Thursday.

NBC sources say the number may be upwards of at least a dozen.

Typhus can cause fever, chills, body aches, nausea and vomiting, cough, and rash, but can be treated with antibiotics. If not treated however, it can be fatal.

Flea-borne typhus is a bacteria that spreads to humans when they come in contact with infected fleas or rat feces. Animals such as cats, rodents and opossums all attract fleas. Piles of garbage may also attract fleas, leading them to humans