Know All About Scrub Typhus, The Mystery Fever Gripping Uttar Pradesh

Image Credit: The Times of India

The Logical Indian Crew

Know All About Scrub Typhus, The Mystery Fever Gripping Uttar Pradesh

Cases of scrub typhus have been detected primarily in the districts of Firozabad, Agra, Mainpuri, Etah, and Kasganj. Firozabad is the epicentre of the outbreak with more than 80 deaths.

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A mystery fever is gripping parts of Uttar Pradesh and claimed the lives of over 100 people so far. The mystery fever has been identified as scrub typhus. Cases of the viral fever have been detected primarily in the districts of Firozabad, Agra, Mainpuri, Etah, and Kasganj. Firozabad is the epicentre of the outbreak with more than 80 deaths.

On August 30, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the medical college in Firozabad and told the media that 39 people lost their lives due to viral fever, out which 32 were children. The CM said a team of experts from Lucknow's King George's Medical University would investigate the deaths, particularly among children, and determine the origin of the outbreak.

What is Scrub Typhus?

Scrub typhus is a rickettsial infection that was previously documented in India and other South Asian nations. It is a vetor-borne disease and affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, renal, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. It onset is defined by fever and rashes.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, the disease is named from the type of vegetation that harbours the vector (terrain between woods and clearings). The Greek term "typhus" implies "fever with stupor" or "smoke." Scrub typhus affects about 1 billion people worldwide, with an estimated 1 million cases every year.

How Does It Spread?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scrub typhus is spread by infected chiggers (larval mites). During its growth cycle, the mite only feeds on the serum of warm-blooded animals once. Bite marks are common on the groyne, axillae (armpits), genitalia, and neck.

Symptoms

Within 10 days of being bitten by infected chiggers, symptoms of the viral sickness appear. Fever and chills are the first signs, followed by headache, body aches, and muscular soreness. As the sickness progresses, a black, scab-like patch at the site of the chigger bite (also known as eschar) develops, as does mental impairment ranging from confusion to coma.

Organ failure and bleeding can occur in people with severe sickness, which can be fatal if not addressed, according to the CDC.

Diagnosis

Scrub typhus symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases. Blood tests and laboratory testing are used to determine the presence of the bacteria in scrub typhus. While severe cases may necessitate medical attention and even hospitalisation, in most cases, symptoms subside after two weeks even without therapy. There is no vaccine that can protect a kid or an adult from contracting this virus.

The drug doxycycline is usually used to treat it. Doxycycline can be used in people of any age, according to the CDC, and antibiotics are most effective when taken shortly after symptoms appear.

Scrub typhus is common in various parts of India, according to the National Health Portal. There have been outbreaks throughout the sub-Himalayan belt, ranging from Jammu to Nagaland. Rajasthan has also seen outbreaks. Outbreaks were reported in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Darjeeling in West Bengal between 2003 and 2007. During the rainy season, outbreaks are more common.

Also Read: Suhas Yathiraj Scripts History, Becomes First IAS Officer To Win Medal At Paralympics

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Writer : Neelima Mishra
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Editor : Madhusree Goswami
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