Lucknow, August 31: Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh has reported several cases of mysterious viral infection, known as the Scrub Typhus disease. The health authorities in the district have sounded an alert after 29 cases of mite-borne rickettsiosis, known as the ‘scrub typhus’ were confirmed in the district. Scrub typhus is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). According to a report by IANS, the 29 patients, who have been affected are aged between two to 45 years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of scrub typhus usually begin within 10 days of being bitten. The site where the chigger bites develop a dark, scab-like region, which is also known as eschar. Marburg Virus Detected in South Africa for the First Time; Know Symptoms, Transmission and Treatment of the Ebola-Related Disease.
Scrub Typhus: Causes and Spread
Scrub typhus, also commonly known as ‘bush typhus’, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. Scrub typhus is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). The common symptoms include fever and chills, headache, body aches, rashes and muscle pain.
What are Larval Mites?
The larval mites are commonly referred to as chiggers. They also have other named like berry bugs, harvest mites, red bugs or scrub-itch mites, belonging to the family of mites. They feed on the skin cells of animals following which the larvae drop to the ground and become nymphs. They then mature into adults, having eight legs.
Chiggers are microscopic pests that need a warm body to have their three-to-four-day meal so they can morph into a nymph and become adults. Although chiggers readily bite people if given a chance, humans do not make good hosts. Post COVID-19 Symptoms: Half of Hospitalised Coronavirus Patients Have Persisting Symptoms After a Year, Says Lancet Study.
Physical contact, sharing clothes or bed linens, sexual contact with the affected person can cause the infection. Mites can live for days on animals or textiles. As per reports, Chigger bites are itchy red-coloured bumps that may look like pimples or blisters. These bites are usually found around the waist, ankles, or in warm skin folds. The bites get bigger and itchier over several days and often appear in groups.
Scrub Typhus Symptoms:
- The most common symptoms of Scrub Typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash.
- In severe cases, the symptoms can result in pneumonitis, encephalitis, mental changes ranging from confusion to coma
- Severe symptoms can also be congestive heart failure and circulatory collapse.
- The CDC says that most cases of scrub typhus occur in rural areas of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Japan, India, and northern Australia. Any person living in or traveling to areas where scrub typhus is found could get infected.
You can prevent the infection by taking a shower on a regular basis and scrubbing your skin with soap and water that can just wash off any chiggers that are on your body. Using hot water to wash your clothes and any blankets or towels can help in preventing the infection.
As of now, there is no vaccine is available to prevent scrub typhus, as per the CDC. Individuals can reduce the risk of getting scrub typhus by avoiding contact with infected people. Early diagnosis is important and patients are put on antibiotics and they recover fully after a week-long course of treatment.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 31, 2021 03:21 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).