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Published Date: 2017-10-31 21:04:36
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Scrub typhus - India (04): (WB)
Archive Number: 20171031.5417030
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 30 Oct 2017
Source: Catch News [edited]

Even as West Bengal is combatting an outbreak of dengue, the state also has another bacterial disease on its plate to battle: scrub typhus. Over 30 people in Bankura have been affected by scrub typhus in the past month.

A type of mite-borne infectious disease, it has symptoms which are similar to chikungunya and dengue -- fever, headache and muscle pain -- which make it all the harder for doctors to diagnose.

This mite-borne disease is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected chigger (pest or bug) and can lead to death if untreated.

Generally, the bugs that are responsible for transmitting the disease in humans are found in grassy fields, bushes, gardens, parks or lakes and streams. According to experts, these bugs are so small (0.3 millimeters) that they are actually invisible. These baby chiggers [actually larvae], part of the Trombiculidae family, are red, orange, yellow or straw coloured. Their bites leave a black mark [called an eschar] on patients.

"In the past 2 months, many patients suffering from scrub typhus have been admitted to the hospital as they are suffering from this disease. If proper intervention is not taken at an early stage, it may lead to death. We have conducted blood tests on around 70 suspected scrub typhus cases," says Dr Partha Pratim Pradhan, the medical superintendent of Bankura Sammilani Medical College.

Senior doctors at SSKM Hospital in Kolkata say that a blood test is the 1st thing to be administered if patients are suffering from high fever coupled with muscle pain for over 2 days. After that, antibiotics need to be prescribed, as in an acute case, the patient may be afflicted by respiratory issues. If untreated, scrub typhus can lead to multi-organ failure.

Dr Manotosh Guin, a senior doctor of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), said: "The commonest symptom of scrub [typhus] is fever with headache. On Monday [30 Oct 2017], we admitted 2 patients from Deganga in North 24 Parganas suffering from similar symptoms."

[Byline: Sulagna Sengupta]

Communicated by:

[Bankura is a city in Bankura Sadar subdivision of Bankura district in the Indian state of West Bengal, India. Bankura can be found on a map of West Bengal at https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bankura,+West+Bengal,+India.

Deganga is a community development block that forms an administrative division in Barasat Sadar subdivision in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. The area is reportedly also facing the problem of arsenic contamination of groundwater. Deganga can be located on a map of West Bengal at https://www.google.com/maps/place/Deganga,+West+Bengal+743423,+India.

ProMED-mail has posted multiple reports of scrub typhus in several Indian states in the past, especially since 2011. For background information, see ProMED-mail post Scrub typhus - India (05): background 20111208.3546. - Mod.ML

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/323.]

See Also

Scrub typhus - India (03): (MN) fatal 20170728.5211944
Scrub typhus - India (02): (HP) 20170629.5138780
Scrub typhus - India: increasing recognition 20170615.5107234
Scrub typhus - India (05): (HP) fatal, more cases 20161113.4626414
Scrub typhus - India (04): (HP) fatal, more cases 20160929.4523373
Scrub typhus - India (03): (HP) fatal 20160909.4477063
Scrub typhus - India (02): (HP) fatal 20160812.4411604
Scrub typhus - India: (RJ) fatal 20160625.4308520
Scrub typhus - India (04): (KL) 20150913.3642698
Scrub typhus - India (03): (RJ) susp. 20150904.3625149
Undiagnosed illness - India (02): (KA) febrile, children, scrub typhus susp, RFI 20150821.3582448
Leptospirosis & scrub typhus - India: (KL) 20150723.3531275
Scrub typhus - India (02) 20150513.3358445
Scrub typhus - India: (TN) 20150405.3277670
Scrub typhus - India (05): (RJ) fatal, update 20141020.2881159
Scrub typhus - India (04): (RJ) fatal, update 20141001.2821553
Scrub typhus - India (03): (MP, RJ) fatal 20140921.2791699
Scrub typhus - India (02): (HP) 20140722.2627698
Scrub typhus - India: (MH) 20140515.2475762

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