Rare disease kills 30 in Rajasthan

A rare disease suspected to be of ‘scrub typhus’ has claimed 30 lives,  in  Alwar district of Rajasthan this season.

Another six have died due to a disease with similar symptoms in Dausa.

Concerned over the high death count recorded since August 22 this year, the health department has sought the help of  National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) based in New Delhi. A team has  reached the spot to collect blood samples, according to official sources.

Scrub typhus can be cured but only if it is timely diagnosed. It is caused by the bite of mites especially during the monsoon season and is reported in areas close to jungles or urban shrubs. Since fever is one of the early symptoms of this disease, wrong or delayed diagnosis is a major worry.

Residents claim that the death toll is over 50 but chief medical health officer (CMHO) in Alwar, Dr K K Meena, puts the official figure at 30.

In Dausa, six people died recently after showing similar symptoms as scrub typhus which
includes high fever and low platelet count. “In the initial investigation, we have found that some of them had low platelet count accompanied by fever,” said Dr O P Bairwa, CMHO, Dausa.

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