Kathmandu, September 2

The death toll from scrub typhus has reached five after a case was reported from Chitwan yesterday.

Two patients each from Chitwan and Syangja districts had died of the disease earlier. As many as 300 cases of scrub typhus have been recorded in 32 districts so far this year, according to Dr Bhim Acharya, Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Teku.

Of the 300 scrub typhus cases, 139 were from Chitwan alone. Last year, 509 people had tested positive for the disease in the district and four had died.

There has also been a rise in dengue cases lately. As many as 20 people have reportedly tested positive for dengue across the country. Four from Dang, three from Syangja, two from Bara and one case each from Jhapa, Kaski, Gorkha, Kapilvastu, Accham, Dhading, Gulmi, Baglung, Rupandehi, Chitwan and Kathmandu have been reported till date. However, no dengue death has been reported till now.

Similarly, from among the 2,531 samples collected, 846 tested positive for influenza H1N1 pdm 09 infection so fa this year.  In Chitwan, 309 people out of 380 tested positive  for H1N1 pdm 09.

Scrub typhus, also known as tsutsugamushi disease, is an infectious illness caused by Orientia (Rickettsia) tsutsugamushi and is transmitted to humans  and  rodents  by  the  bite  of  the  larva  of  trombiculid  mites (chigger). “The mites are both vector and reservoir of the disease. The disease is transmitted from mites to rats and mice and the mites in their larval stage contract the disease by biting these rodents,” informed Dr Anup Bastola, vonsultant tropical medicine physician at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital.

However the disease is not directly transmitted from person to person. Human beings of all ages, including children are affected by it. Those involved in agriculture and living near forest areas are advised to stay away from rodents.

Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with one of the four dengue virus serotypes. It is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. People are advised to prevent mosquito bites by destroying the areas where the mosquito lays its eggs such as tyres, water cups, flower pots etc.

Doctors have advised people with high fever to immediately visit health centres.