Typhus is sweeping across Los Angeles County. Typhus is an infectious disease that is spread by fleas. Over 100 victims, including a City Hall employee, have been infected.
In 2018, there were 124 cases. Daily Mail reported that there is no sign of the epidemic letting up. Typhus has been exclusively victimizing the transient population in the metropolitan region. While typhus is typically found among the homeless, it not always the case.
However, on Tuesday, February 4, 2019, Liz Greenwood, a Deputy City Attorney, stated that she was diagnosed with the disease in Nov. 2018. She then said that it was caused by the fleas in her City Hall office in Los Angeles, California.
She described the typhus symptoms as being “excruciating.” Also, she said in an interview with NBC Los Angeles that it felt like a and sharp and piercing ringing pain through her eyes and out the back of her neck.
Greenwood defined typhus as a disease from the medieval era that is carried by compost. She stated that rats were using trash in Los Angeles City Hall as their nest. The Vernon was hosting fleas that in turn carried the biblical disease.
NBC reported that there are rats in both the City Hall and City Hall East, according to an employee. Their tails are as long as their bodies.
She requested that the municipality fumigate the building before she returns to her city job. She stated that she as though she would perish, due to typhus.
The Los Angeles City Attorney said that the condition is so terrible that she would not wish it on anyone.
History of Tinseltown’s Skid Row
The LA Times reported that the Victorian-era Skid Row in Los Angeles was a tenderloin swarming with an undesirable element. Most of them were under the influence of alcohol and the rest had far more severe issues.
The tenement buildings were muddy and grimy. Some of the buildings were teeming with tenants. However, the tenement slums had a steady clientele.
The homeless crisis first arrived in Los Angeles with the advent of the railroads. Los Angles was the last stop on the transcontinental railroad in 1876. Historian Glen Creason stated that the railroads were built east of Historic Los Angeles.
The Central and Southern Pacific Railyards and passenger terminus were constructed that year, as well. Los Angeles State Historic Park was known as River Station during that time. Arcade Station at Fourth and Almeda was built in 1888.
Men numbering in the thousands, many were homeless American Civil War veterans, began to ride the railroads. They would jump the trains and pack empty boxcars. Many cities in the United States had an increase in the homeless population after the Civil War.
In 2019, the Daily Wire reported that the Entertainment Capital of the U.S. is suffering from an outbreak of typhus comparable to the black death of the Middle Ages, or a disease from the pioneer era.
By John A. Federico
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Precisions Vaccination: Typhus Cases in California Increased 55% During 2018
Curbed Los Angeles: The early days of Skid Row, once known as ‘Hobo Corner’
The Daily Wire: Los Angeles Is Dealing With A Deadly, Flea-Borne Typhus Outbreak
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gilbert Mercier’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License