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Himachal Pradesh Under the Grip of Suspected Typhus Fever Outbreak

Fear of a possible outbreak of Typhus fever has gripped people in Himachal Pradesh.

At least 200 villagers, including women and children, in Deol area of Baijnath sub-division in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra District are suffering from a mysterious fever.

Epidemiologists are suspecting the symptoms to be that of scrub typhus, also known as 'chigger-borne typhus', caused by rickettsia, which is spread through bites of ticks and mites.

"In view of this typhus blood sample report from Kasauli village we received, because it is a non- specific test and to jump to a conclusion immediately that it is a rickettsia. So, we are thinking that further investigations are needed for it and we are taking actions for further investigation," said Naresh Mehta, senior epidemiologist, Tanda Medical College.

The symptoms of scrub virus include fever, headache, muscle pain, cough and gastrointestinal problems. Doctors said it was for the first time that case of such a type of fever was being reported from the region.

Teams of doctors have been visiting the affected villages and medical camps set up for check-ups of patients coming from Deol and Fatar areas.

"It's been three days since the child got fever. We showed him to the doctor on Wednesday. Though he has got some relief due to the medicines, yet the fever has not come down," said Lalita, mother of a patient.

Doctors said patients were responding to doxycycline antibiotic.

At least 42 cases of similar mysterious fever were reported in the state in 2004.


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