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Scrub Typhus in India

23 Jul 2014

A seasonal (monsoon) increase in scrub typhus has been reported in the state of Himachal Pradesh. To date, 137 cases have been recorded throughout the state with rural areas most affected. The worst affected area is Bilaspur district, with 29 confirmed cases. Thirty six cases have required admission to hostpital for treatment and 69 have received treatment at hospital in Tanda.

The health department has recommended the distribution of material among the general public to raise awareness of the symptoms and treatment of scrub typhus. Health institutions across the state have been recommended to adequately stock doxycycline and azithromycin for treatment of scrub typhus.

Advice for Travellers

Scrub typhus is transmitted by infected ticks. Travellers should take precautions against tick bites including the use of insect repellents on the skin and clothes and covering the skin as much as possible (long sleeves and long trousers tucked into socks).

The skin should be inspected daily for ticks and any ticks seen removed by grasping the tick as near to the skin surface as possible and applying gentle traction (without twisting).