Dr. Drew Pinksy warns of plague threat from LA homeless

Will LA get the Plague from homeless people living in squalid encampments the city is unable, or unwilling, to remove?

KABC’s Dr. Drew Pinsky thinks so… and on his KABC Radio show warned LA City Councilman Mitch Englander that there’s going to be an outbreak of something like the plague. “There’s going to be, Mitch…there’s going to be an outbreak of something like the plague…some rodent-borne either rickettsial like typhus…or plague.  We’ve had the hepatitis A outbreak…next is typhus or plague.”

Englander replied he had just come from a major cleanup and says crews now have “to wear in hazmat suits….You’ve got a group of 20 or 30 people at these encampments just to clean out the filth….and a lot of these folks, that have serious mental health and drug and alcohol addictions… they’re street hoarders.”

He went on to say that officials also bring what they call “wraparound services” to offer help and service, but laws and court decisions make it difficult for authorities to place them in shelters if they are unwilling.

The homeless population has exploded in recent years, and authorities have struggled to deal with the problem in spite of voter-approved tax increases for more homeless services.

In Orange County, a judge recently halted the cleanup of a massive camp in the Santa Ana riverbed after advocates for the homeless sued.

Dr. Drew is heard Weekdays on 790 KABC from Noon to 3pm.

-Ken Jeffries, KABC News

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