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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 1189-1195

Scrub typhus: Overview of demographic variables, clinical profile, and diagnostic issues in the sub-Himalayan region of India and its comparison to other Indian and Asian studies

1 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Paediatrics, Government Doon Medical College, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vyas Kumar Rathaur
HNO 405, Stuti, Swarn Ganga Residency, Near Veerbhadra Mandir, Rishikesh - 249 201, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_124_19

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Background: India is a tropical country with a high burden of febrile zoonotic/infectious illnesses, scrub typhus being such a cause with multiple epidemics reported from different regions of the country. Objective: This study was plotted to document the clinical and diagnostic manifestations, treatment, and outcomes of scrub typhus in the sub-Himalayan region of India and to compare the results with other Indian and Asian studies. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective observational study involving collection of data for 54 IgM ELISA-confirmed in-patient cases of scrub typhus at a tertiary care institute in Uttarakhand, India, from their case records. Results: The majority of patients were from rural background. Housewives constituted 28 (51.85%) patients. The most common symptoms were due to involvement of gastrointestinal tract in the form of abdominal pain in 39 (72.22%) and vomiting in 29 (53.7%) patients. Central nervous system involvement in the form of altered sensorium in 14 (25.9%) patients and pulmonary involvement as cough in 28 (51.85%) patients was observed. An eschar was found in 7 (12.96%) patients and upper eyelid edema in 40 (74.07%) patients. The most common laboratory abnormality documented was elevation of liver transaminases (aspartate aminotransferase > alanine aminotransferase), 40 (74.07%), and blood urea levels, 47 (87.03%). There was no difference in the clinical presentation, severity, or mortality in pregnant females when compared with nonpregnant females. One (1.45% mortality) died in our study. Conclusion: Scrub typhus is an important cause of acute febrile illness with variable, often nonspecific and multisystem involvement. Early recognition and antibiotic administration are the key to reduce complications and mortality, especially for a primary care physician.

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