Pradeep Pattanayak

Scrub Typhus is fast spreading its tentacles in western Odisha. Today, 24 more patients tested positive for the mite-borne bacterial disease in Sundargarh district, taking the tally to 244. 

With more and more patients testing positive for Scrub Typhus, the Sundargarh district administration along with the health department has pulled up its socks and is taking various measures to bring the situation under control. Massive awareness drives have been launched to sensitize people about the disease and how it can be kept at bay. 

While ASHA workers are creating awareness among people using the public address system, in rural areas, ‘pala’ shows are being organised to make people aware of the symptoms and treatment of the disease.  

The chief district medical officer (CDMO) of Sundargarh DHH, Dr. Dharani Ranjan Satpathy said only awareness can save people’s lives. 

“The cases of Scrub Typhus are increasing in the district. But people shouldn’t be afraid. If they take preventive measures, they can get out of it,” said Satpathy. 
Meanwhile, the disease allegedly claimed a life in Nuapada district on Monday. The deceased has been identified as Namrata Mahakud, a resident of Dungurupali village. According to a source, she along with officials of the Agriculture and the Revenue departments had gone to Vishal embankment near the village for a survey. 

There, a mite allegedly stung her. Subsequently, her health condition deteriorated. She was admitted to Nuapada District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) and then shifted to a private hospital in Bargarh. While undergoing treatment there, she breathed her last. 

“She had gone to Vishal embankment for a survey. During her stay there, a mite bit her. She then fell ill. We took her to Nuapada Medical first and then to Vikash Medical. There, the doctors gave her wrong treatment, leading to her death," said the father of the deceased. 

However, the district public health officer refuted the allegations of Scrub Typhus being the cause of her death. 

“There is no mention of Scrub Typhus in her reports. As per the doctors treating her, she died due to multiple organ failures caused by septicemia,” said Gopal Chandra Mallick, district public health officer, Nuapada.