The death toll in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad district from a “mystery disease” rose to nearly 100 Sunday, the five-member National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team constituted to find the reason fav a report on the mysterious infection. The medical experts are suspecting it to be a vector-borne ‘scrub typhus’ bacterial disease.
However, a state government health department official told the daily that “some isolated cases of malaria and scrub typhus have also been detected in the region”. Also known as bush typhus, scrub typhus is a disease caused by bacteria called ‘Orientia tstsugamushi’, which was formerly ‘Rickettsia’.
It typically spread to people through the bites of infected chiggers or larval mites. The vector is abundant on grasses and herbs where bushes are scarce. Symptoms of scrub typhus begin within 10 days of being bitten and include fever and chills, headache, body aches, and muscle pain, and a dark, scab-like region at the site of the bite among others.
Outbreak occurs more frequently during the rainy season however in southern India outbreaks are reported during the cooler months of the year.