Three persons suffering from scrub typhus disease have died at the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Hospital in Shimla, a senior hospital official said on Wednesday. The three died at the hospital last night, with this the total number deaths due to this disease in this season has gone up to 10, he added.
The deceased have been identified as 49-year-old Pratap from Shimla, 52-year-old Krishan from Kullu and 65-year-old Banglu Devi from Kullu, Senior Medical Superintendent IGMC Dr Ramesh Chand said. So far, he said, 250 patients have tested positive for scrub typhus and released from hospitals after treatment.
The state government had also launched an awareness campaign about the swine flu and the scrub typhus this year. The doctors have advised people to take precautions as cases of scrub typhus are expected till October.
The scrub typhus or mite-borne typhus is an infectious disease caused by the biting of a specific type of bacteria called (Orientia tsutsugamushi), spread and maintained by the larvae (chiggers) of mites. The bite of this mite leaves a characteristic black eschar that helps the doctor for diagnosis of the disease, he added.
As a precautionary measure, the doctors have advised general public to avoid places where mites are known to be present in a large number, wear protective clothing when travelling to an endemic area, use of mite repellents to exposed skin.