At least 152 people have been diagnosed with the scrub typhus disease at Thenzawl town in Serchhip district, Mizoram health department officials said on Wednesday, 16 January.
Scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, is a disease caused by a bacteria which is carried and spread by mites. The officials said that the scrub typhus outbreak began in November 2018.
The Thenzawl town is located about 90 km south of Aizawl, the state capital. Scrub typhus had killed two people in Thenzawl town in 2018, they said. The total number of deaths due to the disease have been recorded as 50 with over 2,000 people infected so far since 2012, they added.
Symptoms, Detection and Treatment
The following symptoms might make an appearance within 10 days of being bitten, according to Centre for Disease and Prevention Control:
- Fever, headache and body ache
- Muscle pain
- Discolouration and scab at the site of the bite/rashes
- In some extreme cases, organ failure and bleeding
If you have travelled recently to any of the areas with instances of scrub typhus, reach a doctor in case of these symptoms. A blood test is conducted to confirm the disease.
When it comes to the treatment, it primarily involves antibiotics administered and to be taken only after consulting a doctor.
There are no vaccines available for the prevention of scrub typhus, according to CDC. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while travelling to infected areas, avoid areas with vegetation where mites can be found.
There are also some Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents that can be used. Guidelines for the usage are available on the CDC website.
Scrub typhus is most common in rural areas of India, Indonesia, China, some parts of Australia and Southeast Asia.
(With inputs from PTI and CDC.)