Bhubaneswar, September 15: Odisha's Health and Family Welfare Department has sounded the alarm as it grapples with the recent surge in Scrub Typhus cases, resulting in five unfortunate deaths in Bargarh District. With this alarming rise in cases, the state government has directed district health authorities to intensify surveillance and containment efforts.

Scrub Typhus, also known as bush typhus, is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Orientia Tsutsugamushi. It is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of mites in their larval stage. These mites thrive in hot and humid conditions, often found in forests, grasslands, and bushes. While prevalent in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, the disease has recently made its presence felt in Odisha. Odisha Government on Alert Mode Due to Seasonal Upsurge of Scrub Typhus and Leptospirosis, Five Die of Bacterial Disease.

Recognising the Symptoms

Symptoms of Scrub Typhus typically surface 10-12 days after a mite bite. Recognisable signs include fever, chills, headaches, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, rash, abdominal pain, and the distinctive eschar, a scab-like mark at the site of the bite. If left untreated, the disease can lead to organ failure, cardiovascular complications, and even inflammation of blood vessels. Nipah Virus Threat Looms Over Kozhikode: From Symptoms and Causes to Treatment and Preventive Measures, Know All About the Zoonotic Disease.

Timely Diagnosis is Crucial

If you or someone you know exhibits any of these symptoms, seeking immediate medical attention is imperative. Blood tests are essential for identifying Scrub Typhus, especially if you have recently travelled to an area where the disease has been reported.

Preventive Measures and Precautions

While there is no known vaccine for Scrub Typhus, several precautions can help mitigate the risk. Applying insect repellants, ensuring full-coverage clothing, maintaining personal hygiene, avoiding high-risk areas, and checking pets for ticks are crucial preventive steps.

Treatment and Prognosis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Scrub Typhus can be treated effectively with a course of antibiotics, primarily doxycycline. Prompt diagnosis and timely treatment are essential in preventing complications or relapses.

In the wake of the outbreak, the Odisha Health Department has issued directives to district health authorities, emphasising the importance of test availability, doctor sensitisation, public awareness, early diagnosis, and a sufficient stock of antibiotics.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 15, 2023 04:54 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website