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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Los Angeles County to Launch Typhoid Prevention Plan

Supervisor Barger’s Motion Directs Public Health Department to Report Back on Efforts to Eliminate Risk for Law Enforcement and the General Public

In light of a recent case of typhoid fever contracted by an LAPD officer, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to direct the Department of Public Health to investigate and report back with a countywide communicable disease prevention and intervention plan.

“Under this plan, the Department of Public Health will examine the root causes of the communicable diseases associated with trash and rodent infestations and develop a comprehensive plan to protect the health and safety of our residents and law enforcement personnel,” Supervisor Barger said.

While there is not presently an outbreak of Typhoid Fever in Los Angeles County, there are other cases that have been reported separately from the case reported by LAPD. In 2018, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 14 cases of Typhoid Fever and in 2019, has received reports of five cases to date. These cases are almost always travel-related. All cases are reported to the Department of Public Health, which conducts thorough investigation of each case.

Typhoid fever can be a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. Typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where water may be contaminated with sewage or where sanitation is poor. Typhoid is typically spread through eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with fecal material from an infected person. The disease is not common in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that only 350 cases of Typhoid fever occur throughout the nation each year.

The motion directs the Department of Public Health, in coordination with local health departments, city sanitation departments, and other pertinent stakeholders, to develop a countywide communicable disease prevention and intervention plan that identifies areas that are at an elevated risk for disease transmission due to unsanitary conditions, and provide recommendations to mitigate disease transmission risk in these areas with a report to the Board in 60 days.

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