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Fresh scrub typhus deaths reported from Sawleng village

Mizoram

Fresh scrub typhus deaths reported from Sawleng village

Aizawl, July 24: After one dead in Pangzawl village in south Mizoram’s Lunglei district in early July, fresh cases of scrub typhus deaths have been reported from Sawleng village in Aizawl district with the death of 2 people recently.

Officials of state health department said that at least two people were died and 20 others are currently getting ill due to scrub typhus infection in Sawleng village within this month.

The state government has sent medical team to the village on Tuesday to take stock of the situation, State nodal officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Dr Pachuau Lalmalswama told said.

Sources from Sawleng village said a 11-yer-old RD Lalfakzeli died of the infection on 12 July,  while a 45-year-old Thangzalala died on Monday due to scrub typhus infection. The two were identified with the infection in the first week of July, sources said.

Health department officials said that at least 50 people from Sawleng village were examined at Darlawn hospital on Monday out of which 10 were found infected with scrub typhus infection.

They said that scrub typhus infection was also found in neihbouring villages of Sawleng village.

Pachuau said that scrub typhus infection is spreading very fast in the state and the health department is taking massive effort to effort to check the spread.

Health department officials also said that over 107 scrub typhus cases were reported from Pangzawl village in Lunglei district and more than 30 cases were also reported from Thenzawl village in Aizawl district recently.

At least 161 cases of scrub typhus infection were also reported from Haulawng village in southern Mizoram’s Lunglei district and 89 others from Phullen village and surrounding villages like Luangpawn, Thanglailung and Zawngin in Aizawl district in January this year, they said.

According to health department officials, at least 42 people have died and over 2,000 infected with scrub typhus since the first case was reported in Mizoram in 2012.

Scrub typhus is a mite-borne disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi (formerly Rickettsia tsutsugamushi). The adult mites do not bite, and the larvae – which are too small to be seen by the naked eye – do so in a painless manner. Symptoms are fever, a primary lesion, a macular rash, and lymphadenopathy.

There is no vaccine for preventing scrub typhus. But it can still be prevented by maintaining cleanliness and being aware of surroundings. Contact with the mite larvae can be prevented by not walking barefoot, and sitting or lying directly on the ground. Doctors advise change of clothes after a day’s work and a thorough wash. Insect repellent creams may also be protective and homes and surroundings should be kept rodent-free.

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Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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