Scrub Typhus outbreak claims 5 lives in Odisha: Know causes, symptoms and prevention
The onset of Scrub Typhus is marked by an array of distressing symptoms, including fever, headaches, body aches, and the development of scrabs or lesions at the site of the mite bite.
In a concerning development, five individuals have tragically lost their lives to the deadly Scrub Typhus disease in Odisha, according to information provided by a senior health official.
Sadhu Charan Dash, the district public health official in Bargarh, revealed that in August, a total of 168 samples were diligently tested, yielding no evidence of Scrub Typhus cases. However, the situation took a worrisome turn as of September 10, when 110 samples were subjected to examination, resulting in the detection of four confirmed cases. Dash assured that all affected individuals are currently receiving medical care and are in stable condition.
Dash further elaborated, "To date, five individuals have succumbed to the disease in Bargarh district. Among these unfortunate cases, two were diagnosed at Burla, two at Vikash hospital, and one was receiving treatment in Bolangir. The deceased individuals hailed from Attabira, Barpali, and Bheden blocks, with two belonging to Sohela block."
Meanwhile, in western Odisha, three additional cases of this mite-borne bacterial disease have been reported. These cases are distributed across Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, and Bargarh districts. Thankfully, all affected patients are presently under the care of medical professionals at the VIMSAR hospital in Burla, and there have been no reports of casualties linked to the disease at this time.
Scrub Typhus, a zoonotic disease transmitted through the bites of larval mites, commonly known as chiggers, has emerged as a concerning health issue. This malady is attributed to Orientia tsutsugamushi, a gram-negative bacterium with a propensity to infect humans.
Originating from mites, which often thrive on animals like rodents, the bacteria infiltrate the bloodstream, subsequently disseminating throughout the body.
How Does it Spread?
The onset of Scrub Typhus is marked by an array of distressing symptoms, including fever, headaches, body aches, and the development of scrabs or lesions at the site of the mite bite. Typically, these symptoms manifest within 10 days of initial contact with the host. Swift intervention is imperative, as delaying treatment may lead to organ failure and potentially fatal consequences.
The mites carrying the disease typically come into contact with humans in diverse environments such as forests, grasslands, and farmlands, where people are engaged in various activities. Scrub Typhus has resurged in India, particularly in regions like Odisha, where hundreds of cases are reported annually, predominantly during the rainy season.
Treatment and Prevention
Diagnosing Scrub Typhus can be achieved through laboratory tests such as serology and PCR tests, as there is currently no vaccine available for this ailment. Antibiotic treatment, notably with Doxycycline, is the recommended course of action against this infection.
To curtail the disease's spread, measures include the strategic use of insecticides in areas conducive to vector proliferation, population control of rodents, adherence to safety protocols like proper hygiene and protective clothing in farming and forestry activities. These precautions collectively form a vital defense against Scrub Typhus and its potentially grave consequences.