Another death due to Scrub Typhus; toll rises to 7

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Aug 2018 09:52:09


Staff Reporter,

NCDC team visits GMCH
A team from National Communicable Diseases Centre also visited Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH)
on Thursday. Information about initial symptoms, trend of spread of disease, if any, condition of the patients etc is being studied by the team. The data may be useful in carrying out research and effective planning to control the diseases.


The scrub typhus epidemic has taken another toll in Nagpur Division on Thursday. The zoonotic epidemic, which is spreading fast has, so far, taken life of seven persons undergoing treatment at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). The number of patients admitted with high fever in critical condition are being referred to GMCH in large number.

Till Thursday, 26 patients with Scrub Typhus infection were admitted to GMCH. Of them seven have died. When contacted, Dean of GMCH, Dr Abhimanyu Niswade told ‘The Hitavada’ that patients from Nagpur urban and rural, adjoining states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are being referred to the hospital. He expressed fear that a large number of cases might not have been reported and tested for the disease, as initial symptoms are common like small abscess, itching. This is followed by high fever. In several cases the fever is treated locally by private practitioners.

However, he added, the patient starts losing energy fast and suffers from multi-organ failure. The patients referred to GMCH are in very critical condition. The hospital is equipped to treat the patients. However, the stage at which patients are admitted here, make them more vulnerable to multiple organ failure resulting in death. The number of patients, on Wednesday, were 22. The number increased to 26 in last 24hours.  With one more death on Thursday, the toll has gone up to seven.

The epidemic is spreading very fast and those suffering from high fever must get themselves tested for the infection. About 40% of the tests of such persons are turning out to be positive for scrub typhus. Dr Niswade informed that the hospital has enough medicine and injections required to treat the infection. Besides dengue, this new infection has created serious problem for the people and medical practitioners as well. The incubation period of the infecting bacteria is 6 to 20 days.
Lack of awareness and cleanliness are responsible for the insect bite. The small insect carried by ticks on animals cause the infection.

Most of the patients are engaged in agricultural operations. The clothes are not washed regularly due to continuous rains. This also makes other family members vulnerable to infection.

Dr Uday Narlawar, Head, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM), GMCH has also confirmed the figures and stated that more number of ventilators are required in view of growing number of patients being referred to the hospital.

A large number of patients are also being referred from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The epidemic is likely to spread at a faster pace as rains in the region will take a break and temperature and humidity rising, he added.
The symptoms for dengue and scrub typhus are similar and require immediate attention and treatment, he warned.