The Orange County Register - Traps to catch feral cats have been removed from two Santa Ana school campuses, where public health officials have been trying to stop the spread of typhus, a city official said Friday.
The traps provided by Orange County Vector Control were removed Wednesday afternoon, just a day after they were set at El Sol Science and Arts Academy and Willard Intermediate School, city spokesman Jose Gonzalez said.
Santa Ana city officials decided to pull the traps because there wasn't a clear-cut plan as to how the cats were going to be handled, Gonzalez said.
The plan to corral feral cats living on the campuses was an effort to reduce the flea population and stave off the spread of typhus after a Santa Ana resident who lives nearby contracted the flea-borne disease in April. An adult living in Orange was diagnosed in January. Both have recovered.
Gonzalez said the city will continue its educational campaign in the community to reduce the flea population in an effort to make the area safe for the children who attend the schools and live nearby.
"We are changing our focus and attacking the real problem, which are the fleas," Gonzalez said. "The main issue right now is to safeguard the community and reduce the risk of typhus."
Orange County Vector Control District has begun distributing information in the area advising residents how they can protect themselves.
Flea-borne typhus, also known as endemic typhus and murine typhus, is transmitted by fleas. It is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis, found in infected fleas and their feces.
Symptoms begin one to two weeks after exposure and include high fever, headaches, chills, body aches and rash on the chest, back, arms and legs.
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