Published: 2020-04-23

Incidence of scrub typhus in a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata, India

Kausik Munsi, Sayonee Das, Ramiz Islam, Parvez Shahide Biswas, Satyabrata Ganguly, Mayur Bahan Mukherji


Background: Authors aimed to identify incidence of scrub typhus among patients of fever. Scrub typhus is an endemic disease in India caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, transmitted by trombiculid mites. It is an important cause of acute febrile illness in India. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, myalgia and GI symptoms and is generally associated with morbilliform rash (<40%), eschar (<50%) which is due to bite of the mite. Abnormal LFTs and lymphocytosis are commonly seen in early phase of illness. It’s often labelled as PUO. Early diagnosis and prompt administration of therapy mostly leads to complete recovery

Methods: Authors screened 100 patients presenting with fever, malaise, headache, with or without rash for more than a week from the month of May to December 2019. Routine blood investigations with fever profile (Dengue NS1 antigen, MP, MPDA, TyphidotM) and cultures were done. Patients in whom no cause of fever could be established, having lymphocytosis, hyponatremia and transaminitis, they were tested for Scrub typhus by using Indirect immunofluorescence & detection of IgM antibody.

Results: Total 22 patients were found positive for scrub typhus by using the aforementioned method (22%). Male: Female ratio was 3:4 (9 vs 12). Patients were in the age group of 16-76 years. Lymphocytosis, hyponatremia and transaminitis were cardinal features seen in almost all patients diagnosed with Scrub Typhus.

Conclusions: This study will help clinicians to have a stronger suspicion of scrub typhus in undiagnosed febrile patients.


Eschar, Hyponatremia, Meningitis, Orientia tsutsugamushi, Rickettsia

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