The Orange County Vector Control District has reported a case of flea-borne typhus in Santa Ana. This image is from the district's warning flyer that was distributed to residents.
A Santa Ana resident who lives near two schools has contracted typhus, which is primarily transmitted by fleas, prompting city officials to alert the community and prepare to set traps for rodents.
Citing federal privacy laws, city officials could only describe the person who contracted typhus as living near Broadway and Washington Avenue in Santa Ana.
“The issue here is the person lives in close proximity to two schools and because there are feral cats on the school grounds,” Gonzalez said.
Residents in the area have received literature from Orange County Vector Control to help them avoid getting the disease, city spokesman Jose Gonzalez told the Associated Press.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said vector control officials will lay traps on Tuesday at Frances E. Willard Intermediate School in the 1300 block of North Ross Street and El Sol Science and Arts Academy in the 1000 block of North Broadway.
“We're trying to be proactive,” Bertagna told AP, adding the workers will be wearing hazard suits with masks and that residents should not be alarmed.
Vector control officials have set multiple traps in the area so far and have caught possums, but none of the feral cats known to frequent the area, Gonzalez said.
If the cats are caught, they will be sedated and then euthanized.
City officials advised residents to treat their pets with flea-prevention medication and eliminate places where wild animals can find shelter and any food sources
Flea-borne typhys, also known as Endemic typhus and Murine typhus, is transmitted by fleas, shown at left, according the vector control district.
Symptoms usually surface a week or two weeks after exposure and can include high fever, headaches, chills, body aches and pains and a rash.