Published: 2022-05-27

Scrub typhus outbreak in rural area of Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal, India in 2021

Dilip K. Biswas, Sima Orang, Manashi Debnath, Lily M. Deb, Ahana Ain


Background: Scrub typhus is a reemerging zoonotic disease with no definite preventive measures. Mild to severe clinical manifestation of scrub typhus are occurring in tropical countries. We conducted investigation to confirm the outbreak and vector survey to ascertain transmission of scrub typhus.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Sahid Matangini block of Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal, India between November’ 2020 and January’ 2021. All suspected scrub typhus cases were included for investigation. Environmental and vector survey was also conducted in affected villages.

Results: Among total 71 cases, 51 cases were tested for scrub typhus and positivity rate was 13.72% (7/51). Positivity rate was higher in women 9.80% (5/51) than men. Cases found in adult women in the age group of 19-45 years were 35.21% (25/71) and in the children below the age of 15 years were 23.94% (17/71). All the patients developed fever followed by headache, myalgia, cough, rash & eschar. Outbreak started in November’ 2020 and maximum cases were found in December’ 2020. Dumping of household waste inside house was 93%, agriculture fields close to residential houses were 80% and pet animals in household were 69% of total case patients. Trap positivity was 37.5% (3/8) and after examination in laboratory ectoparasites such as adult mites were identified.

Conclusions: This was an outbreak of scrub typhus. Mites were found in peri-domestic areas. Household waste is to be dumped away from the residential houses. A clean and vegetation free household environment with proper washing of feet and hand may decrease the risk of scrub typhus.



Scrub typhus, Outbreak, Purbamedinipur district, West Bengal, India

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