Nepal | January 18, 2021

Cases of scrub typhus on the rise

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, September 3

At least 72 people have been tested positive for scrub typhus in Kathmandu. Health experts have warned that the number might increase till mid-November.

According to data provided by Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, 234 people have  tested positive for scrub typhus from June to August 2019. The disease has been reported from Banke, Palpa, Kathmandu, Dhading, Morang, Chitwan, Kaski, Rupandehi, Dadeldhura, Kailali, Ilam, Kavrepalanchowk and Makawanpur.

From among the 234 cases, Kanti Children’s Hospital recorded 24 cases of scrub typhus in the same time period.

Scrub typhus, also known as tsutsugamushi disease, is an infectious illness caused by Orientia (Rickettsia) tsutsugamushi, transmitted to humans  and  rodents  by  the  bite  of  the  larva  of  trombiculid  mites (chigger). The disease is transmitted from mites to rats and mice. The mites in their larval stage contract the disease organism by biting these rodents. The mites are both the vector and reservoir of the disease.

Infected chiggers are specifically found during the wet season in dense areas of scrub vegetation which is when the mites lay their eggs. Areas like forest clearings, riverbanks, and grassy regions provide optimal conditions for infected mites to thrive. The southern Tarai region of Nepal is a suitable environment for scrub typhus, said Anup Bastola, consultant tropical medicine physician at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku.

The disease is seen more in children as they are in close contact with mice and rats. They play outdoors and get inside bushes where there are mice and rats. This is how children usually come in contact with mites, said Baburam Marasini, former director at EDCD.

Female children are more prone to the disease as they usually wear clothes which expose skin. “Children also urinate in  open spaces or in areas where there are bushes. This is how they come in contact with the mites,” added Marasini.

The eggs of the mites are dormant during winter, but they grow when they get favourable environment, according to Marasini. It is not only children, but human beings of all ages that are infected.  It can cause death due to late presentation, delayed diagnosis and drug resistance, said Bastola.

The disease is seen in people who work outdoors, usually in the fields where there are rats and mice, said Bibek Kumar Lal, director of EDCD.

A version of this article appears in print on September 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

319 Nepalis living abroad have succumbed to Covid-19 thus far: NRNA

KATHMANDU: Two more Nepalis living abroad died from coronavirus infection in the past week. According to Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), one person passed away in London while the other one died in South Africa. According to the Health Committee under NRNA, with the latest fatalities, Read More...

In pics: A day in the lives of STIDH health-workers

KATHMANDU: Teku-based Sukraraaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH) which was established as centre for treating COVID-19 cases has been successfully providing quality care to the patients. Following the detection of the virus in country around ten months ago, the government had dec Read More...

PM has no right to dissolve House, SC told

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 Lawyers representing the petitioners that have challenged the dissolution of the House of Representatives today began pleading before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana. Advocate Bhimarjun Acharya said the prime m Read More...

EC consults parties regarding snap polls

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 The Election Commission today held consultation with 11 political parties on midterm polls announced for April 30 and May 10. EC Spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya informed representatives of political parties about its Read More...

Valley schools reopening after 10 months

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 17 Schools across all local bodies inside Kathmandu valley have started reopening. They had been closed for at least 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 24, the government imposed a blanket lockdown in a bid to subdue the spread of coronavirus, which hit the Read More...

Double for Stones as Man City crush Palace to go second

MANCHESTER: Manchester City steamed into second place in the Premier League with defender John Stones scoring an unlikely double in a 4-0 demolition of visiting Crystal Palace on Sunday. Central defender Stones, closing in on 100 Premier League appearances for City, headed his first league g Read More...

Information Technology

Smart diplomacy: Needs tech-driven approach

A calling need for tech-savviness in state diplomacy with a tech-managed system has assumed diplomatic importance to promote techno-economic cooperation and trade promotion. Technical knowledge about economic and trade connections with both the developed and emerging countries would substantially he Read More...

EDITORIAL: Unresolved issues

It would be in the best interest of both Nepal and India to resolve the boundary issue amicably Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali returned home on Saturday after wrapping up his three-day visit to India, where he took part in the sixth Foreign Minister-Level Joint Commission meeting. But he could no Read More...