The saga of scrub typhus with a note on the outbreaks in Mizoram


Scrub typhus is one the most important re-emerging infectious disease, and perhaps, the most important bacterial disease. Caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, it is transmitted through the bite of mites belonging to the genus Leptotrombidium, in which the bacteria are obligate parasites. Though the mites are natural ectoparasites of rodents and other animals, in which there is no disease, opportunistic infection to humans gives rise to a serious disease. Known to Japanese physicians as tsutsugamushi (insect disease), human infection is caused by the larvae of trombiculid mites, the fact established by Mataro Nagayo and co-workers established in 1917. The pathogen was discovered by Naosuke Hayashi in 1920. In Mizoram, the disease has been rampant since 2011. This paper summarises available data on the prevalence of the infection in different districts base on collective information from various sources. Records between 2012 and 2018 show that over a thousand people had been infected and 35 people had died of the disease.

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