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New cases of flea-borne typhus surface in Burbank

An outbreak of a dangerous disease is spreading in the San Fernando Valley -- flea-borne typhus.

Health officials have confirmed that four people have contracted Murine typhus in Burbank.

Two cases originated in the 700 block of Screenland Drive. Both of those men were treated at local hospitals and released.

Murine typhus is also called endemic typhus and is transmitted by fleas.


Victims suffer from headaches, fever, chills and nausea and are often hospitalized.

One of the victims, Mike Alley, told KTLA-TV he thinks that the flea that bit him and gave him typhus could have come from his dog or one of his cats.

Somehow a household pet probably picked up a flea from wildlife, like a feral cat or a possum, raccoon or rat.

Back in December, Mike was deathly ill in the hospital.


“I was unconscious. I didn’t know them,” Alley said, referring to his family. “I kept looking at them and saying, ‘Have you talked to my family?’ And I also had a very, very high fever.”

It took him several weeks to get out of the hospital after antibiotics knocked down the infection.

Health officials say that you can help protect yourself from flea-borne typhus by getting flea control medication for your pet.

It’s also recommended that you keep your yard clear of overgrown vegetation since rodents and feral cats can hide there.