Barger calls for public health investigation in response to reported LAPD Typhoid case

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Supervisor Kathryn Barger is directing the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to investigate and report back with a countywide communicable disease prevention and intervention plan in light of a recent case of typhoid fever contracted by an LAPD officer assigned to the Central Division located on Skid Row.

“In the interest of protecting the health and safety of our residents and law enforcement personnel, the county must examine the root causes of the spread of communicable diseases associated with trash and rodent infestations, and develop a comprehensive plan to minimize risk of additional cases,” said Supervisor Barger.

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 5 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 is 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 country 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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