The Nepal Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has confirmed 105 new scrub typhus cases across the country as of August 1. According to health officials, the cases were all reported since the beginning of June. Cases are focused in the Chitwan district, Nawalparasi, and Palpa. In 2017, there were only 168 cases reported throughout the whole year in Nepal.
Scrub typhus is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, an intracellular gram-negative bacterium, which is transmitted to humans and rodents by chigger mites. Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, cough, and gastrointestinal symptoms. No licensed vaccine is available.
Individuals present in Nepal are advised to take measures to protect themselves against insect bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rain water that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
Copyright and Disclaimer