Epidemiologists study mice for scrub typhus vectorsA team from Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Control Division has started a study of mice in Chitwan to see if they have been carrying the type of mites that are associated with disease.
A team from Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Control Division has started a study of mice in Chitwan to see if they have been carrying the type of mites that are associated with disease.
Scrub typhus cases have increased dramatically in recent months. Most of the cases have been reported in Chitwan.
The team, which also includes epidemiology experts called in from Thailand, has found scrub typhus-causing mites on six of the nine test subjects that were captured from the areas in Chitwan
most-affected by scrub typhus, including Sharadanagar, Rampur, Mangalupur, Parbatipur, Bikash Chok.
“Besides extracting mites from the mice, we are also removing some of their organs to send them outside the country for study,” said Resham Lamichhane, the public health officer at the division.
The team has also taken blood samples from 46 scrub typhus patients, their family members and neighbours for laboratory test.
Scrub typhus is an infectious illness caused by the bacteria, Orientia tsutsugamushi, which could lead to death if untreated.
At least 13 people have succumbed to scrub typhus while 240 others have been taken ill since the disease was first diagnosed in the country in August 2015, officials said.
In Chitwan alone, 189 patients have been found infected with the disease so far, according to the District Public Health Office.
The infection has been reported in 32 districts of the country till date.
Although the disease is not entirely new in the country, many people lack awareness about it.
Fever, headache, sweating, body ache, fatigue and rashes around the neck are some of the symptoms of scrub typhus.