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LA Times Reporter Felled by Fleas

This morning, veteran LA Times reporter Meghan Daum shares Part 2 of her harrowing tale about how what she thought was a simple flu virus turned out to be a nearly fatal case of typhus. Transmitted via the nightmarish urban scenario of flea feces and infected, backyard rodents.

Daum begins by answering some of the voluminous reader e-mail that came in after Part 1. She explains why the diagnosis took so long and also assures that her case was an extremely rare scenario that others need basically not worry about being duplicated.

Ultimately, she sums it all up as follows:

As for my condition, I believe the medical term is “totally weirded out.” How else to describe the experience of thinking you have the flu and then waking up to the news that four days have passed and you’d had a near-death experience (sans white light, by the way) that put everyone who cared about you through hell?

Though I survived a physical ordeal, I was disconnected from the emotional ordeal that hung over those hospital lounge vigils and e-mail chains. Though I’ll be dealing with the aftereffects for a long time — such as permanent hearing loss over 6,000 Hz, which means that music sounds distorted — I am not privy to the relief (euphoria in some cases) of those around me.

Daum says those around her have described the experience as life-changing, while she herself doesn’t think she will ever come to terms with the randomness of it all. Welcome back, Meghan!

(Photo credit: Alexandra Dean Grossi)

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