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Scrub Typhus in India (Kolkata)

03 Jan 2018

Scrub typhus has been the second most frequently seen infection after dengue in Kolkata in 2017 according to the Times of India Link on 29 December 2017.

Between June and November 2017, 47 out of 838 patients admitted with fever to Peerless Hospital were diagnosed with scrub typhus.  Most private hospitals in Kolkata have seen 30-40 scrub typhus cases since June. The infection has led to a higher mortality rate than dengue, although it can be treated with antibiotics.

Advice for Travellers

Scrub typhus is an infection caused by rickettsia-like bacteria. The infection is transmitted by the bite of infected larval trombiculid mites. Rats or mice may act as reservoirs. Humans may become infected in areas where the mites and rodents are present, most often areas of low-lying scrub brush or vegetation.

Travellers should be aware of the risk of scrub typhus, particularly those visiting rural areas who should avoid close contact with this type of vegetation. The skin should be protected with clothing (ideally permethrin treated) and DEET insect repellent on exposed skin.

For further advice on insect bite avoidance see the following link: Insect Bite Avoidance.