Scrub Typhus kills 41 people, including 36 children in Firozabad, UP | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Scrub Typhus kills 41 people, including 36 children in Firozabad, UP

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Scrub Typhus

Scrub Typhus: A mystery fever was recently reported from parts of Uttar Pradesh which claimed about 40 lives, mostly children in one week.

Key highlights:

  • This viral fever was identified as Scrub typhus.
  • Scrub typhus was reported mainly from Firozabad, Agra, Mainpuri, Etah and Kasganj districts of Uttar Pradesh.

About Scrub typhus:

  • Scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, is a disease caused by bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi (formerly Rickettsia tsutsugamushi).

Note: The name of the bacterium is of Japanese origin. The word “tsutsuga” means illness and “Mushi” means insect.

  • Scrub typhus is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites).
  • Bite marks are found on the armpit, genitalia, or neck.
  • It is a rare zoonotic disease (which can be transmitted from animals to humans) with symptoms similar to any viral fever.
  • Doxycycline, an antibiotic, is the most common drug used for its treatment.

Symptoms of scrub typhus:

  • Symptoms of scrub typhus usually begin within 10 days of being bitten.
  • Signs and symptoms may include:
    • Fever and chills
    • Headache
    • Body aches and muscle pain
    • A dark, scab-like region at the site of the chigger bite (also known as eschar)
    • Mental changes, ranging from confusion to coma
    • Enlarged lymph nodes
    • Rash
  • In complicated cases, it could lead to pneumonia, meningo-encephalitis, gastro-intestinal bleeding, acute renal failure, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which can be fatal if left untreated.

Is scrub typhus curable?

  • According to the doctors, this disease is curable using antibiotics, but it can get out of hand when the diagnosis is delayed.

History:

  • This disease has been named “scrub” after the type of vegetation that harbours the vector.

Note: Typhus is a Greek word meaning “fever with stupor” or smoke.

  • This disease took the form of an epidemic during World War II in some countries while during the Second World War; it emerged as the most dreaded disease among soldiers of the Far East.
  • In India, this fever broke out in an epidemic form during Second World War in West Bengal and Assam.

Different types of Typhus:

Thypus is a group of bacterial infectious diseases that include Scrub typhus, Epidemic typhus, and Murine typhus.

  1. Scrub typhus is due to Orientia tsutsugamushi spread by chiggers.
  2. Epidemic typhus is due to Rickettsia prowazekii spread by body lice.
  3. Murine typhus is due to Rickettsia typhi spread by fleas.

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