Scrub Typhus surfaces in India | Odisha: 7 killed, 180 infected Shimla: 9 killed, 295 infected

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Sept 17: The COVID-19 pandemic surfaced from Huan Sea Food Market in Wuhan, capital of related of Hubei province and first reported to the local Govt on 27.12.19 and published on 31.12.19. The  outbreak of the coronavirus disease in China was declared a global pandemic byt WHO on 11.03.20.The  COVID19 had infected 7,70,563,467 and killed 6,957,216 globally, including 44,997,710 in India and over 20,000 in Odisha till 06.09.23 though total 13,501,166,968 does of vaccines were  administered.

However, another infectious disease – Scrub Typhus –has surfaced in India killing people in Odisha and Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla that has sent an alert in both states. Scrub Typhus, a highly infectious disease, has been causing unexpected deaths in some parts of India. Officials said that at least seven people have died and in Odisha and nine succumbed to the infection in Shimla.

A Bhubaneswar adds:  11 more people were found scrub typhus positive in Sundargarh district on Sunday, taking the total number of such cases in the district to 180, chief district medical officer Dr. Kanhucharan Nayak said.

Of the 180 infected people, 10 patients are from outside Odisha and nine are from other districts, he said, adding total 59 samples were sent for testing, of which 11 were detected positive for scrub typhus.

According to Odisha’s Bargarh chief district medical and public health officer Dr Sadhu Charan Das two cases were reported from Sohela block, while one each from Attabira, Bheden and Barpali blocks.

Scrub typhus infection spreads through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). If fever continues for a period of four or five days, one should go for the test which is available free of cost, he said. The test for scrub typhus is being done at Rourkela Govt Hospital and the Sundargarh district health centre. The health department is deploying accredited social health activists (ASHA) and auxiliary nurse and midwife volunteers to spread awareness about the disease.

So far, seven people have died due to the disease in Odisha, including six deaths in Bargarh district while one person has succumbed to the infection in Sundargarh. Meanwhile, the health department sent a three-member medical team from Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla to Bargarh on Saturday to monitor the situation and suggest steps to control it. Currently, there are 11 active cases in Bargarh district, officials said. People, who frequently visit farmland or forests, are vulnerable to the infection.

Meanwhile, in Shimla, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC) hospital has been witnessing a substantial influx of patients displaying symptoms of the deadly infection. According to officials, a total of 295 cases of the infection have been confirmed in the district.

What is Scrub Typhus? 1) Scrub typhus is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria known as Orientia tsutsugamushi. The infection spreads to people through the bite of a mite – which is mostly seen in grass, bushes, and on the bodies of animals such as rats, rabbits, mice, and squirrels; 2)The symptoms of the infection include – high fever, chills, severe headache, dry cough, body aches, muscle pain, a dark scab-like wound at the site of the chigger bite, enlarged lymph node, red spots or rashes on the body, red eyes, confusion, coma, gastrointestinal symptoms, liver and spleen enlargement, and meningitis; 3) According to experts, the symptoms start around 10 days after getting infected. If the disease is left untreated, it could cause multiple organ failure, a life-threatening complication; 4) People engaged in gardening and outdoor activities are at high risk of the infection, 5) One can prevent getting infected by – focusing on rodent control, cleanliness, and maintaining hygiene; being cautious while handling pets, applying mite repellents to exposed skin, and regular cleaning of surroundings including removal of shrubs and low vegetation. (With agency inputs)

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