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Scrub Typhus |

Scrub Typhus

Context

∙ According to a study conducted in Tamil nadu, an increase in rainfall could lead to rise in monthly scrub typhus cases.

What is Scrub Typhus?

∙ It is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi and transmitted through infected mites (chiggers).

∙ Symptoms: It include fever, headache, body ache and sometimes a rash.

∙ In severe cases, the infection can lead to respiratory distress, brain and lung inflammation, kidney failure and multi-organ failure, ultimately resulting in death.

∙ Causes: Mites carrying the disease are generally found in the bush, jungle and paddy areas. Several factors, like exposure to farming, owning domestic animals, outdoor activities and sanitation, affect its prevalence.

∙ Diagnosis: Elisa test is used to diagnose the disease.

Prevention and Treatment

∙ No vaccine is available to prevent scrub typhus. The risk  of  the infection can be reduced by avoiding contact with infected chiggers.

∙ If someone gets infected by scrub typhus then it should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline.

Role of climate in spread of Scrub Typhus

∙ The study found that temperature, humidity and rainfall had a major role in the incidence of scrub typhus.

∙ For every millimeter increase in rainfall could lead to a 0.5 to 0.7 percent rise in monthly scrub typhus cases.∙ Similarly monthly scrub typhus cases increased by 7.6 percent for every per cent jump in mean relative humidity.

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