Boy dies in Thiruvananthapuram due to scrub typhus

An 11-year-old child, Siddharth, of Kilimanoor, who has been undergoing treatment at the SAT hospital here, succumbed to scrub typhus.

Scrub Typhus, a zoonotic disease caused by the bite of chigger, a microscopic mite found in shrubberies, is endemic in Thiruvananthapuram district. This year, till date, 259 cases of scrub typhus and five deaths have been reported in the State.

The mite is usually present in shrubberies, and the disease is transmitted mostly during the rainy season and in winter.

Non-specific symptoms

The symptoms of scrub typhus are non-specific and resemble the symptoms of any other tropical fever, such as fever, headache and myalgia. The presence of a characteristic eschar (deep scab wound at the bite site) is the distinguishing clinical symptom of scrub typhus.

However, this is usually found in the groin or armpit or such deep body folds and unless the doctor maintains a high level of clinical suspicion and does a complete body check, this eschar could be missed. The patients would often fail to mention it to the doctor because they would not associate it with their fever.

Initiating doxycycline as early as possible can save the patient but late diagnosis can lead to liver or renal failure and death.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2022 6:12:57 pm |