(Los Angeles Times) A week after announcing an outbreak of flea-borne typhus in downtown Los Angeles, health officials on Friday declared another outbreak of the illness — this time in Willowbrook. Four people have been diagnosed with typhus in the unincorporated community near South Los Angeles, three of whom were hospitalized, according to health officials. Typhus outbreaks are often associated with poor hygiene and overcrowding.

More people have been falling sick with typhus in Los Angeles County over the last decade, though experts are unsure why. The latest cases bring the county total to at least 83 this year. There were five in all of 2008, according to the California Department of Public Health. “We expect to continue to see clusters of flea-borne typhus throughout L.A. County,” health officials wrote in an alert to doctors on Friday. READ MORE