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    Published On : Tue, Aug 28th, 2018

    Scrub Typhus: No facility to test except at Nagpur Veterinary College

    Nagpur: The research by Veterinary Public Health Department has revealed that scrub typhus is not only caused by the chiggers found on grass but also by the tropical rat mite. The test for confirming this disease is done only at Nagpur’s Veterinary College. The first case was reported at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) in 2012 but that too failed to bring Health Department out of deep slumber. No test centre was developed by the Department till now.

    Dr Sandip Chaudhary, Associate Professor at Veterinary Public Health Department, Nagpur Veterinary College is the in-charge of Centre for Zoonosis. He being a Principal Investigator conducted research that was published in International Journal. The research was under Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). He and his team found out that scrub typhus is also caused due to tropical rat mite.

    Till now it was general perception and the fact also that scrub typhus is transmitted by bites of infected larval stage trombiculid mites called Chiggers, which are found in the forest , urban shrubs, and grass during wet season. But new research has added a new information. The scrub typhus was first diagnosed by Dr P P Joshi, Head, Department of Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH) in 2012. A woman had come with a complaint of bodyache, cough, cold and fever.

    Her samples found negative in all blood tests. During a ECG, a black cigarette burn like spot was noticed under her breast and her blood samples were sent to National Centre for Disease Control at Delhi and it confirmed that the woman was suffering from scrub typhus. Dr Joshi said, “The symptoms of scrub typhus are found in other diseases too. It is difficult to diagnose it. In 2012 we could identify because of the spot. But most of the patients do not have these spots too.”

    Unfortunately there is no facility to test scrub typhus except Centre for Zoonosis at Nagpur Veterinary College. It is the only laboratory that conducts the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to confirm scrub typhus. Doctors have advised people not to get panic as the disease is neither has become epidemic nor endemic. It is in sporadic category.

    This year 5 deaths due to scrub typhus have been registered with 18 patients testing positive in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). IGGMCH too had 5 patients and all are discharged now. In GMCH too Dean Dr Abhimanyu Niswade and Dr Yogendra Bansod, HOD, Medicine took measures resulting in curing 50 per cent patients. Others too are on the verge of discharge.

    Sensing its seriousness, Deputy Director Public Health Dr Sanjay Jaiswal convened a meeting at GMCH and appealed everybody that the only medicines Azythromycin, Doxycycline are available with public health department for free. Patients can collect the medicines. Dr Jaiswal urged that people not to get panic as disease was under control.

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