Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless
Lack of sanitation and medical care is worse when you are homeless. This can directly lead to life threatening illnesses.
"Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard. Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building. People in Washington State have been infected with the diarrheal disease shigella, spread through feces, as well as Bartonella quintana, or trench fever, which spreads through body lice. Hepatitis A, also spread primarily through feces, infected more than 1,000 people in Southern California in the past two years. The disease also has erupted in New Mexico, Ohio, and Kentucky, primarily among people who are homeless or use drugs.
Public-health officials and politicians are using terms like disaster and public-health crisis to describe the outbreaks, and they are warning that these diseases can easily jump beyond the homeless population. “Our homeless crisis is increasingly becoming a public-health crisis,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in his State of the State speech in February, citing outbreaks of hepatitis A in San Diego County, syphilis in Sonoma County, and typhus in Los Angeles County."
As the next phase of collapse picks up, more of us could land on hard times. Knowing basic sanitation and preventative health care, often using natural herbal medicines will become important.