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What could be worse for a lawyer: getting typhus from flea bites or being famous for it?
That's what Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Elizabeth Greenwood has to deal with these days. She says she contracted the disease at work a few months ago.
Now her story is all over the place. Either way, it's worse than a rash.
Typhus is a serious disease, even deadly if not treated. There are different kinds, which can causes rashes, but none is good.
Greenwood got sick in November, and took a leave with high fever, severe headache and dizziness. She found out later it was typhus, and believes she got it from flea bites at Los Angeles City Hall.
She alerted city officials, who confirmed the building was infested with disease-carrying rats. It made all the papers.
"If only my 15 minutes of fame were about something wonderful I did," Greenwood told the Wall Street Journal. "But no. I'm now the international poster child for typhus."
'Poster Child for Typhus'
The disease can be treated with antibiotics, and people can get well without knowing they have it. But the city hall problem is another story.
City workers reported seeing and smelling rats all around the building. According to reports, nineteen people have been affected.
The city clerk reportedly said she was chased from her office by a rat the size of an opossum. And she wasn't talking about a politician.