A Typhus Outbreak Has Hit L.A. County

Health experts are warning Southern California residents to take extra precautions in the face of a flea-borne typhus outbreak.

So far this year, The L.A. County Department of Public Health has reported 64 cases of Typhus, not including the cases in Pasadena and Long Beach. There were 64 cases during all of last year.

“All of the cases have a history of living or working in the downtown Los Angeles area," a county health spokeswoman told NBC News. That has added to speculation that hazardous health and sanitation conditions among the homeless is a contributing factor. According to the county, both domestic and wild animals are the official cause of the outbreak.

Typhus is a cluster of bacterial infections spread by parasites. Since the 20th century, it has become a rarity in the United States. Symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, rash and joint pain, nausea and vomiting, and dry cough.

This article has been updated to reflect the latest Typhus statistics in L.A. County.