With the MP health department recently sending out an alert against scrub typhus in Guna, Raisen, Rajgarh, Sehore, Vidisha and Bhopal districts, suspected cases of the disease have emerged in Bhopal, Sehore, Vidisha and Guna.
The health department had also instructed chief medical and health officers (CMHOs) to monitor cases in their respective districts and conduct a door-to-door survey for reported cases of fever.
Caused by the orientia tsutsugamushi, scrub typhus is transmitted by mites, fleas, lice, or ticks. It cannot be transmitted from person to person. As most of the symptoms of this disease are similar to that of chikungunya, doctors do not suspect scrub typhus easily. “Doctors may not suspect scrub typhus as it usually occurs in hilly areas. This disease is slightly different from chikungunya as it affects the kidney and liver too and the rashes are different. After tests a doctor can clearly treat a patient for this”, said Dr Nitin Nahar of Hamidia Hospital. “The test takes place on the eighth day of the fever, but if not treated on time, the disease can be fatal,” Dr Nahar said.
However, government hospitals have no set-up in Bhopal to check for scrub typhus, health department sources confirmed.
Bhopal CMHO Dr Veena Sinha said that no confirmed case of scrub typhus has been reported in the city. She also appealed to people to protect themselves from mites.
Symptoms of scrub typhus
Swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, red lesion or sore on the skin at the site of the bite, cough, rash, severe headache, high fever, eye sensitivity to bright lights, severe muscle pain