Scrub typhus confirmed at Karassery

Preventive medicines distributed among residents of tribal colony

Staff of the Health Department distributed preventive medicines among residents of a tribal colony at Karassery grama panchayat in Kozhikode district on Wednesday after lab results confirmed that the death of one of the residents there was due to scrub typhus, a disease caused by the bacteria Orientia tsutsugamushi.

According to sources, Raman, 65, of Mayangal colony in the panchayat had died on May 4 after undergoing treatment for fever for over a month. The lab results of his blood samples were made available on Tuesday. Some of its symptoms are fever and chills, body pain and muscle pain, and headache. Persistence of such symptoms for long needed immediate medical attentions, doctors said.

People with severe illness may develop bleeding and organ failure, which may turn fatal, if left untreated. Doxycycline antibiotic is usually administered to scrub typhus patients.

Members of the Kozhikode district vector control unit inspected the colony, though it has been reported that the disease-carrying larval mites were yet to be spotted there. Awareness programmes were conducted in the area and the grama panchayat is planning to conduct fogging on Thursday.

Health Department sources pointed out that a dozen confirmed cases of scrub typhus and two deaths had been reported in the district so far this month.

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