Scrub typhus is key encephalitis cause in eastern U.P.: study

Scrub typhus is key encephalitis cause in eastern U.P.: study

News:

  1. Data from Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghave Das (BRD) medical college shows that majority of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) patients hospitalized in the last three years had scrub typhus.

Important facts:

2. The finding is important because scrub typhus can be treated easily if detected early.

3. There are various research findings related to scrub typhus such as :

a) Study conducted by Karnataka’s Manipur Centre for viral research:

  • This was the first case of scrub typhus role came during 2014 study at BRD by researchers.

b) Chennai’s National Institute of Epidemiology:

  • Conducted in 2015, the study found that out of 370 AES patients tested, 63% had antibodies to scrub typhus.
  • While in 2016, out of 407 AES patients, 65% had the illness.
  • These patients were given azithromycin, a treatment for scrub typhus.
  • As a result, 35% of non-scrub typhus patients died, while only 15% scrub patients died, indicating that azithromycin was effective.
  • These findings were published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal in May this year.

c) Chennai’s Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC):

  • These findings shows evidence for the role of scrub typhus comes from a study of trombiculid mites in Eastern UP.
  • Findings show that the mites carried Orientia tsutsugumashi, the bacterium which causes scrub typhus.
  • The study was published in Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases in July 2018.
  • Unpublished research has shown an increase in infestation of rodents by trombiculid mites .
  • The study revealed that scrub typhus incidence peaks during the monsoon season.

d) Indian Council of Medical Research:

  • According to data shared by Indian Council of Medical Reseach, in 2017, over 50% of patients admitted to BRD in August-September were positive for scrub typhus.

4. About Scrub typhus:

  • Scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi.
  • Most cases of scrub typhus occur in rural areas of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Japan, India, and northern Australia.
  • Anyone living in or traveling to areas where scrub typhus is found could get infected.

 

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