Bhubaneswar: At least five persons have died of scrub typhus in Bargarh district of Odisha since August 31 this year.
This was revealed by Bargarh Additional District Public Health Officer (ADPHO) Sadhu Charan Dash today.
The deceased have been identified as Asanna Sahu (45) of Salipali village under Bheden block, Jagadish Bhoi of Khairpali in Barpali block, Santosh Bhue (54) of Beherapali (Ghess) under Sohela block, Ritushree Meher (18) of Lastala village under Attabira block and Mandodari Padhan (105) of Petupali under Sohela block in Bargarh, sources said.
“Five persons from Bargarh district have died of scrub typhus in Bargarh district since August 31. However, all of them were diagnosed with the disease at hospitals outside Bargarh. Two were diagnosed with scrub typhus at VIMSAR while another two at Vikash Hospital at Burla. The last one was diagnosed with the disease at a hospital in Bolangir,” Dash said.
According to Dash, the health authorities in Bargarh had tested the blood samples of altogether 168 people in August. However, none of them was found positive for the disease.
“We have tested the blood samples of 142 people till September 10 and four of them were found positive for scrub typhus. All the four patients are now doing well after medication,” he said.
Notably, scrub typhus is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. It is not transmitted directly from human to human. It is only spread by the bites of chigger, a trombiculid mite belonging to the genus Leptotrombidium, sources said.
Scrub typhus can be detected through ELISA system available at the District Public Health Laboratory of all District Headquarters Hospitals in the state. If diagnosed early, the disease can be treated effectively, said Odisha Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra yesterday.
The scrub typhus cases are mostly detected in Bargarh, Nabarangpur, Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts in Odisha, sources added.
“Scrub typhus is a disease transmitted by chiggers. It is spread to people especially farmers who frequently visit farmland or forest. The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever. The chigger bites can cause itchy, inflamed bumps on the skin called ‘eschar’. It is one of the infections if left untreated, can have fatal consequences,” Mishra added.