The Kerala Health department has issued an alert against scrub typhus as fresh cases of the disease have been reported from Kalath and District Court wards in Alappuzha municipality.
- Scrub typhus is a life-threatening infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi bacteria which is a major public health threat in South and Southeast Asia.
- It spreads to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites).
- The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash.
- Scrub typhus should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline.
- Doxycycline can be used in persons of any age.
- There is no vaccine available for this disease.
- It will not spread from person to person.
- India is one of the hotspots with at least 25% of the disease burden.
- Typhus fevers are a group of diseases caused by bacteria that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus.
- Epidemic typhus: It is caused due to Rickettsia prowazeki and it is spread to people through contact with infected body lice.
- Scrub typhusis: It caused due to Orientia tsutsugamushi and spread by chiggers.
- Murine typhus: It is caused due to Rickettsia typhi spread by fleas. It occurs in tropical and subtropical climates around the world