Monsoon weeds infests Scrub Typhus in HP claiming 2 lives, 96 cases verified


Monsoon weeds infesting number of people with deadly Scrub typhus as the virulent fever claimed two lives in the hill state, health department traced 96 cases of S. Typhus in the State this year, a senior health officer of the State confirmed.

The State Communicable Disease Surveillance Officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) Mr. Rakesh Roshan Bhardwaj said that around 1072 blood samples were taken in two medical colleges at IGMC Shimla and Dr. RPMC Tanda and other hospitals this year, in which 96 patients were found positive for the S. Typhus.

He said that 14 cases were tested positive at IGMC and two lives were lost due to S. Typhus this year. He said that two lives lost belonged to Shimla and Kullu districts due to deadly disease as the attenders turned out late in the hospital with the patients succumbed to the S.Typhus.

Dr. Bhardwaj said that IDSP has launched state wide awareness campaign as this case of seasonal viral fever disease were pouring from all the district and most of the cases from Shimla district. He said that most of victims hailed from rural background who succumbed to this deadly fever if the patients could not be diagnosed on-time and most of the deaths occurred due to late admission in the hospital.

Heath study found that S.Typhus is an endemic disease which is caused with bite of a mite infest in the grass and weeds during the Monsoon season. Mite carries S.Typhus strains from rodents found in the grass if it enters in the human body with bite it may prove fatal if not diagnosed or tested clinically without wasting time.

Incidentally it was taking heavy toll of women in the State as they venture in the green meadows for taking green foliage for the cattle and in some cases men and women while working in the farms and fields may come in contact with the mites after the bite it left Cigarette burn marks on the body, Dr. R.R. Bhardwaj warned.

He said that most of the patient turn-up in the hospitals with symptom of cough-less fever, joint congestions and body-ache. Patients lead to death in most of cases if its hospitalization, identification of disease and diagnosis get delayed. However in most of the cases patient get recovers within a week after normal treatments merely costing Rs. 30 per patients however it was free in all the state hospitals.

To prevent loss of live due to S.Typhus, IDSP unit have issued advisory to all medical officers to prescribe the dose of antibiotics even before clinical trial as the Doxycycline advised by the IDSP which is highly effective soon after the treatment fever gradually come down.

To control the disease among the masses IDSP had launches state wide drive as the teachers posted in the villages are being advised to aware the students for prompt treatment if anyone complaint this mysterious fever. He said that the State government launched the drive as it was taking 15 to 20 lives each year as the case increase with Monsoon season.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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