3 Disease Outbreaks In King County Put Homeless At RiskFile photo by Neal McNamara/Patch


SEATTLE, WA – King County Public Health investigators are looking into outbreaks of three diseases that are especially harmful for the local homeless population – and a fourth outbreak may be emerging.

According to Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officials are seeing a big increase of group A streptococcus infections and shigella, which causes gastrointestinal distress. There’s also a cluster of trench fever cases, a painful illness spread through body lice carrying the bacteria Bartonella quintana. There have been three trench fever cases among the homeless since mid-2017, according to Duchin.

Additionally, Duchin said, the department is monitoring for a possible Hepatitis A outbreak – a type of hepatitis that infects the liver and can be spread through contact with infected feces.

These illnesses are particularly tough on the homeless because they lack access to proper medical care. Hepatitis A, for example, can be prevented by taking a vaccine.

“People who lack permanent housing often also have limited access to medical care, so many people living homeless and with health problems have difficulty getting prompt treatment. Living conditions – like crowding and fewer opportunities for personal hygiene – can contribute to the spread of disease,” Duchin said in a blog post.

King County is working with the state Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and Harborview Medical Center to address the strep problem. The county is also spreading information about the other illnesses through homeless outreach.



There is conflicting information regarding Bartonella transmission by ticks; however, prudence would err on the side of caution.  Nearly every patient I work with has Bartonella – and I think it is far more prevalent than many think.  Even the CDC states that ticks carry some species of Bart.  In my experience if the CDC acknowledges something, it is far worse in reality.

Somehow, Lyme patients are getting Bartonella.

The problem lies in the fact researchers state that the presence of a pathogen in a tick does not imply they can transmit it – and therefore is not epidemiologically important.  They typically do “reviews” of previous studies to only conclude transmission has not been established.

Please know these studies are approximately 10 years old and older.  And again, garbage in, garbage out.  They keep recycling old studies and regurgitating ancient information.


If I had a dime for every time I read the words, “rare,” or “atypical” regarding Lyme/MSIDS, I’d be a rich woman.  Trust me, this stuff isn’t not rare.  Just look around.

More on Bartonella:  (Checklist found in link)

I could go on and on to infinity.  Bartonella is a REAL PROBLEM.  Time for researchers to wake up from their stupor and do some current meaningful research.