Nepal | June 03, 2020

Medical team in Chitwan to study status of scrub typhus

Himalayan News Service
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Scrub typhus

Scrub typhus is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, an obligate intracellular gram-negative bacterium, which is transmitted to humans and rodents by chigger mites.

Ratnanagar, August 26

A medical team has arrived here to study the status of scrub typhus, a new disease in Nepal, which is transmitted to humans by mites.

A team from the Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Control Division will be conducting an in depth research on rats to find out the status of the disease.

Rat mites are the major carriers of the bacteria (orientia tsutsugamushi formerly known as Rickettsia tsutsugamushi) that causes scrub typhus.

The health team that comprises health technicians and experts Resham Lal Lamichhane, Lalan Saha and Laxman Maharjan is expected to begin study within a week.

According to Division Chief Dr Gunanidhi Sharma, Nepal formally announced the presence of the disease last year with five people succumbing to the disease and more than 176 infected.

Pathology tests for the disease, which is easily curable with timely diagnosis and treatment, are available at Chitwan-based Bharatpur Hospital and Chitwan Medical College.

However the disease has been known to turn fatal when not treated as per Chitwan Medical College physician Dr Sheetal Adhikari.

Bharatpur Hospital’s Chief Medical Superintendent Dr Rudra Marasini stressed that the government should supply a sufficient quantity of kits used in the diagnosis of the bacterial disease.

Of the people confirmed infected with scrub typhus, 145 underwent medical check-up in hospitals in Chitwan alone.

The deceased are from Chitwan (1), Tanahun (1), Sankhuwasabha (2) and Bhojpur (1). Patients from Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur were diagnosed with the scrub typhus at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan.

It has been noted that last year alone there were 8 deaths from this disease while the number of infected was 101. The disease was first detected among Japanese militants during the World War II.

High fever, headache, muscle pain, primary lesion, cough, sweating, rashes around the neck are some of the signs and symptoms of the disease.

Doctors have advised full-sleeve clothes when outdoors, using mats while sitting on the ground, applying ointment and taking al necessary precautions for the prevention of the disease and to consult the doctor when in doubt.

A version of this article appears in print on August 27, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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