Manali: With two women dying of scrub typhus, a disease inflicted by insect bites, and 7 other having tested positive with the disease symptoms, panic has gripped Kullu valley as health professionals have asked people to take preventive measures to safeguard their health.
Chief medical officer of Kullu, YD Sharma, let Hill Post know that two women had died of scrub typhus. We tested 66 patients more patients for the disease, and seven of them turned out to be positive.
He said that the government hospital in Kullu was equipped to conduct the tests and treatment antibiotic for scrub typhus was available.
Scrub typhus disease is transmitted to humans by mites that are found in the grass. Women in the valley, who regularly come in contact with grass when collecting fodder for farm animals, usually are more prone to being bitten by mites and contracting scrub typhus.
Treatment doctors have advised to take precautions. “One should use gloves and good footwear while cutting grass and doing other agricultural work, said a doctor.
The symptoms of scrub typhus are fever and headache. After having been bitten by some insect the victim should be rushed to a hospital to seek a doctors advise.
Meera Thakur, from village Karjan, Manali said that after she heard about the recent death of a woman from Chachoga village, she was scared of going to the fields for cutting grass.
Dr M.L.Bandhu, of Community Health Centre, Manali said that women here are more prone to scrub typhus as they come in regular contact with grass in the farms.
He advised that people should take extra precaution in rainy season. It is better to use gloves and proper footwear while cutting grass and doing other agricultural work,” he said.
Dr Bandhu cautioned that without the advice of doctor one should not take any antibiotic’s before a proper diagnosis of the disease is done.
According to the doctor a small mite that is generally found in rats, propagates to grass and can infect a person with its bite. The bacteria affects the lungs, kidneys and the brain.
“If not treated in time, the victim eventually dies. It is curable by medicines once diagnosed,” said Dr Bhandu.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.