SCRUB TYPHUS: THE MYSTERIOUS KILLER
Scrub Typhus, the reason for Uttar Pradesh's mystery fever, has already claimed lives of over 40 children. This puts an additional burden on the health system which is already inundated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s check some facts about Scrub Typhus.
- What is the meaning of Typhus?
* The word “typhus” is derived from the Greek word “typhus,” which means “fever with stupor” or smoke.
- What is another name of Scrub Typhus?
* Scrub typhus is also known as bush typhus.
- What is the causative agent of Scrub Typhus?
* Scrub typhus is caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi.
- What is the vector of Scrub Typhus?
* Scrub Typhus is transmitted to humans by an arthropod vector of the Trombiculidae family.
- What is the mode of transmission?
* Scrub typhus is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites).
- What is the incubation period of Scrub Typhus?
* The average incubation period of Orientia tsutsugamushi in humans is 10–12 days.
- What are the sign and symptoms of Scrub Typhus?
* Eschar: -The first sign of scrub typhus disease in patients is a vesicular lesion at the site of mite feeding, which later on becomes an eschar or an ulcer with regional lymphadenopathy. An eschar typically presenting with black necrotic center and an erythematous border is seen at the site of the chigger bite.
* Other symptoms include: -
• Fever and chills
• Body aches and muscle pain
• Enlarged lymph nodes
• People with severe illness may develop organ failure and bleeding, which can be fatal if left untreated.
- What is the treatment for Scrub Typhus?
* Scrub typhus should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. Doxycycline can be used in persons of any age.
* Antibiotics are most effective if given soon after symptoms begin.
* People who are treated early with doxycycline usually recover quickly.
- What are the prevention methods for Scrub Typhus?
* No vaccine is available to prevent scrub typhus.
* Reduce the risk of getting scrub typhus by avoiding contact with infected chiggers.
* When traveling to areas where scrub typhus is common, avoid areas with lots of vegetation and brush where chiggers may be found.