APICON ’14: Scrub typhus disease a cause for concern

Of 400 research papers submitted by doctors from across the world, 60 were based on scrub typhus

Ludhiana | Updated: March 23, 2014 10:44:38 pm
Doctors during APICON 2014.  Gurmeet Singh Doctors during APICON 2014.
Gurmeet Singh

The annual conference of Association of Physicians in India, which was organised after al most 50 years in Punjab concluded on Sunday. At the conference a disease named – scrub typhus came out as a major cause of concern.

Of 400 research papers submitted by doctors from all over the country and across the world, who took part in the conference, 60 were based on scrub typhus. This disease is caused due to a parasite named Orientia tsutsugamushi.

The disease which is very uncommon and least known in India, however, is witnessing emergence of cases in northern India especially Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand where mites are found in abundance due to green fields and vegetation growth.

Dr Karamvir Goyal, head medicine, Fortis Hospital said, “This disease is caused after bite of mite which leaves black scars. If the patient does not have fever after few days of mite bite then the patient will start vomitting and will have rashes all over the body also swelling in lymph nodes.”

He added that the disease is very uncommon in India and has no vaccination till date. “If it reaches higher stages, it can affect lungs, heart, liver and brain. Till now there is no vaccination for it but research is going in UK to develop one,” said Dr Goyal.

Talking about presence of disease in India, he said, “This disease broke out during World War II in Burma and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In India now we see it appears occasionally with 2-4 patients a month. A lot of awareness needs to be generated among people. Even its diagnosis tests are not available at every place in India,” he said.

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