Recently, the Kerala Health department has issued an alert against scrub typhus as fresh cases of the disease have been reported from Kalath and District Court wards in Alappuzha municipality.
About Scrub typhus:
- It is a life-threatening infection caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi bacteria which is a major public health threat in South and Southeast Asia.
- It spreads to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites).
- Symptoms: The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash.
- Treatment: Scrub typhus should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. Doxycycline can be used in persons of any age.
- There is no vaccine available for this disease.
- It will not spread from person to person.
- India is one of the hotspots with at least 25% of the disease burden.
What is Typhus fever?
Typhus fevers are a group of diseases caused by bacteria that include epidemic typhus, scrub typhus, and murine typhus.
- Epidemic typhus: It is caused due to Rickettsia prowazeki and it is spread to people through contact with infected body lice.
- Scrub typhusis: It caused due to Orientia tsutsugamushi and spread by chiggers.
- Murine typhus: It is caused due to Rickettsia typhi spread by fleas. It occurs in tropical and subtropical climates around the world.
Q) What is the characteristic of bacteria?
Bacteria are prokaryotic cells, meaning they lack a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles found in eukaryotic cells. They have a simple structure, with a cell wall and a cell membrane surrounding their cytoplasm.