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Scrub typhus: Deadly bacterial disease kills 15 in Nagpur, lands 70 in hospital

Around 90 cases have been reported so far, out of which 15 people have died over the last one week and another 15 are battling for their lives.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2018 17:34 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
scrub typhus,bacterial disease,nagpur
After the dengue virus, bacterial scrub typhus disease, seen in Nagpur for the first time, is taking its toll on residents of the city and surrounding areas(File Photo)

After the dengue virus, bacterial scrub typhus disease, seen in Nagpur for the first time, is taking its toll on residents of the city and surrounding areas. Around 90 cases have been reported so far, out of which 15 people have died over the last one week and another 15 are battling for their lives.

From the around 90 persons diagnosed with the disease, the toll rose to 15 on Friday evening with one patient at the government medical college and hospital succumbing while 70 are under treatment there and some private hospitals. Most of the patients are in the age group of 30 to 45.

According to the medical college and hospital, over 60 affected people are admitted there out of which 15 are on ventilators and battling for their lives. The patient who died on Friday evening was identified as Madhukar Pudke of Nandanwan area of east Nagpur.

Scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, is a disease caused by bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. It spreads among human being through bites of infected “chiggers” (larval mites). The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash.

Dr Abhimanyu Niswade, the dean of the government medical college and hospital, said that the number of its patients is increasing rapidly in the city, while most of the patients in the hospital are from other districts of the region and a few are from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states.

Maharashtra minister for public health Deepak Sawant visited the medical college and hospital a few days ago and instructed the authorities to take adequate steps to curb the disease.

But hospital officials said they did not have the necessary infrastructure.

Talking to HT, a senior government medical college official however asked how could the hospital provide proper treatment and other aides when it was not equipped with equipment and medicines for this new disease. “The government is not trying to understand the basic issue,” he alleged, calling for opening an emergency service for the disease at the hospital with experts and equipment.”

Admitting that the city was facing such new disease for the first time, Niswade said: “However, we are giving proper treatment to the patients.”

The city had recorded over 500 dengue cases in August though no casualties were reported.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 17:31 IST