Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mystery fever scrub typhus surfaces in Hyderabad, India

HYDERABAD: Here's another reason to conserve the environment. A mystery fever has surfaced in the city which has symptoms somewhat similar to malaria or dengue, but is more complicated than both. An estimated 100 cases of this fever have been reported in the last one month.

Doctors, initially unsure of the diagnosis, treated patients with regular antibiotics but have now realised that the cases are of Scrub Typhus, a mite-borne fever, commonly reported in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and parts of Maharashtra. This is the first time the fever is being reported in such large numbers in Andhra Pradesh and doctors attribute it to deforestation.

The fever managed to flummox doctors who put their patients on the best of antibiotics and tests for weeks together but in vain. They later identified this fever through the skin lesions on the patient's bodies. Experts note that scrub typhus patients are bitten by mites carrying a bacteria found in rodents and develop a eschar (a black wound) on the body. Read More