Los Angeles city leaders continue to work on rodent problem in City Hall

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Amid a possible typhus outbreak in Los Angeles City Hall and other buildings, City Council members met with department heads Friday to go over a plan to rid the area of rodents and fleas.

The heads of general services, personnel and sanitation divisions, among others, said they were working on a plan. Pest control workers were inspecting City Hall and City Hall East over the last few days, placing traps for fleas and rodents. The traps were picked up Friday.

"That information will be compiled over the next serval days, and we're planning next week to sit down with our annual vendor and have a discussion with the vendor about the findings, and more specifically the recommendations for eliminating any rodents or fleas that have been detected as a result of the traps," said David Paschal, with the Department of General Services.

Sanitation officials said they will do weekly comprehensive cleanups of the Civic Center, including more street cleanings around the area.

RELATED: Video shows rat scurrying through hallway of City Hall amid possible typhus outbreak

After the council meeting, President Herb Wesson said he wanted to know more about how to fumigate large buildings like City Hall.

"There has to be some kind of industry-approved method of fumigation for high-rise structures - and that's what I want somebody to come in and tell me how that works," he said.

All of the department heads are due back in court in a week or two to provide council members with an update.

The meeting comes after Wesson made a motion to have all carpet removed from the historic building when a city employee possibly contracted the infectious disease while at work.

But last week, the council voted 12-0 to bypass a normal committee review process and have the Department of General Services move forward with a plan to study and address the rat problem at City Hall.

Typhus is an infectious disease that is typically spread by the bites of fleas that are carried around by rodents. Symptoms include fever, flu-like conditions and a rash. It is generally considered non-fatal when treated.
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