According to the Health Director of Odisha, Niranjan Mishra, at least eight individuals have lost their lives in the state due to scrub typhus infection. This disease is transmitted through the bites of infected chiggers. Numerous districts in Odisha have reported cases of scrub typhus infection, prompting health authorities to advise people to undergo testing at hospitals throughout the state. This year, the state has increased its testing capacity for scrub infection to 22,000 tests.
Last month, the Odisha Government directed district health authorities to intensify surveillance efforts to monitor the seasonal increase in scrub typhus and leptospirosis cases in the state. The Health and Family Welfare Department of Odisha has issued directives to various medical officers and hospitals, emphasizing the need for an enhanced surveillance system to enable early diagnosis and timely treatment for scrub typhus and leptospirosis.
To achieve this, district health authorities have been tasked with ensuring the availability of testing kits, sensitizing doctors to recommend tests for individuals with PUO (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin), increasing public awareness, and promoting early diagnosis. The authorities are also instructed to maintain an adequate supply of appropriate antibiotics and medications.
Scrub typhus is caused by the Orientia tsutsugamushi bacterium and is transmitted through the bites of infected larval mites. Common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes a rash. Leptospirosis, on the other hand, is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria from the Leptospira genus and can manifest with a wide range of symptoms in humans.
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