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OC officials warn of fleas spreading typhus

September 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Orange County health officials are warning residents about fleas spreading typhus in the area.

According to authorities, an unusually high number of cases of flea-borne illness has cropped up in Orange County recently.

A county spokesperson said five cases have been reported in the past three months. The illness was considered rare in Orange County prior to 2006.

Typhus is transmitted by bites from fleas, particularly those from cats, opossums and rodents. Controlling fleas is key to preventing typhus.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache and rash. It is treatable with antibiotics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.