News of Scrub Typhus infection is surfacing these days, the scary part being death due to the mites. Bargarh and Sundargarh districts in Odisha and some parts of Himachal Pradesh are in the news where some people have died due to Scrub Typhus. Rajasthan, in 35 days, registered 854 cases of Scrub Typhus.


What is Scrub Typhus?

Caused by Rickettsial bacterium, also known as Orientia tsutsugamushi, the vector-borne zoonotic disease is transmitted to humans when infected mites, such as chiggers, bite someone during the larval stage. A humid, soggy weather in tropical environments is suitable for the mites to flourish. Scrub Typhus mites are found in bushy areas, paddy fields, etc., and are also known as bush typhus. According to previous research, it has been revealed that the mites acquire the infection during their larval stage when they come in contact with rodents or other small animals. The mites are each the vector and the natural reservoir for Orientia tsutsugamushi.


People visiting farmlands and forests are more prone to scrub typhus infection. 


Cases have also surfaced in Australia, Indonesia, China, Japan, and other South-East Asian nations.



Symptoms of Scrub Typhus are visible after around ten days of being bitten by the mite. The most common symptoms include fever and a black, inflamed mark on the skin called eschar.


These include severe headaches, chills, body aches, etc. Dark scab-like lesions on the bite area, enlarged lymph nodes, and rashes are the likely symptoms. The severe infection may lead to organ failure and internal bleeding

 if untreated.


The pulse rate increases in severity, and there may be a drop in blood pressure and muscular twitching.



Antibiotic doxycycline is known to have been administered by doctors. The antibiotic is likely most effective as soon as the symptoms appear. The symptoms usually die after seven days with proper medication, and the patient recovers. If left untreated, the fever may persist for less than or near to two weeks.



Prompt diagnosis is the need of the hour. A visit to the doctor in the event of an infection will help prevent the disease.


With rains pounding various parts of the country during the monsoon season and humid weather, it is conducive for shrubs to grow in multiple locations. Keeping pet/domesticated animals from venturing into shrubs and cleaning them properly will help prevent getting infected with the disease. Wearing clean, covered clothes and disposing of clothes worn during a visit to the farm shrub areas will keep the mites at bay. One should avoid using insect repellents without consulting a doctor. 


India is seeing a rise in scrub typhus disease, and proper investigation on how to prevent the spreading at an alarming rate is the need of the hour. The much-needed scientific research will help mitigate the crisis in the long run.