Mathura: In Mathura, Western Uttar Pradesh, many children have been diagnosed with with a new mystery fever identified as Scrub Typhus.
Dr. Rachna Gupta, Chief Medical Officer of Mathura, said 26 children are sick in Koh village, while there are three, 14 and 17 in Piproth, Ral and Jasoda, respectively. Reports state that ten people, including eight children, have died in the region. Infections and deaths have also been reported in other districts of Western UP such as Agra, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etah and Kasganj. Samples are being collected from these areas by medical teams.
Scrub typhus, also called shrub typhus, is caused by a bacterium called Orientia Tsutsugamushi, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Infected chiggers (larval mites) transmit the infection to people through bites.
Symptoms usually begin within ten days of the bite and include fever, runny nose, headache, body aches, mood swings, swelling of the lymph nodes and rashes.
CDC reports that there is no vaccine to prevent scrub typhus. In the organisation’s recommendation, contact with those affected should be avoided. Additionally, it warns against traveling to bushy areas, where scrub typhus is common and plants, vegetation and where squirrels are found in abundance.
As a precaution, the CDC recommends that people dress children in clothes that cover their arms and legs, or cover their cribs, strollers, and baby carriers with mosquito netting. Additionally, it instructs them to treat clothing and gear with 0.5% permethrin to kill chiggers.