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Scrub typhus: a new treat to Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: Scrub typhus is very similar to dengue, but it isn’t caused by mosquitoes. It is caused by mites found in Bengaluru’s green garden and lawns.

It affects people of all ages including children. If untreated for more than ten days, it could cause severe complications like formation of edema in the lungs, brain encephalitis, renal failure or even heart problems and may eventually lead to death. The recommended treatment regimen for scrub typhus is doxycycline. There are also alternative regimens like tetracycline, rifampicin and roxithromycin for this disease.

Scrub typhus may show itself initially as a viral fever. “In people who are already suffering from complications like diabetes, the symptoms may be more severe like heart problems,” says Dr Arun, a homeopathy practitioner.

Rarely are patients diagnosed by rashes, as it is extremely difficult to spot a mosquitoe bite mark on the patient’s body, says Dr Pretesh Kiran, consultant physician. “Scrub typhus is not a virus or a bacteria, but a microorganism. That makes it react to an antibiotic, making Scrub typhus treatable,” he added.

Hence, early diagnosis and treatment are essential in order to reduce the mortality and complications associated with the disease.

– Tina

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