Scrub Typhus as an Etiology of Acute Febrile Illness in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India, 2016.Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017 Nov; 97(5):1313-1315.AJ
Seasonal outbreaks of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) with high mortality occur every year in Gorakhpur region of Uttar Pradesh, India. Earlier studies indicated the role of scrub typhus as the important etiology of AES in the region. AES cases were hospitalized late in the course of their illness. We established surveillance for acute febrile illness (AFI) (fever ≥ 4 days duration) in peripheral health facilities in Gorakhpur district to understand the relative contribution of scrub typhus. Of the 224 patients enrolled during the 3-month period corresponding to the peak of AES cases in the region, about one-fifth had immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies against Orientia tsutsugamushi. Dengue and leptospira accounted for 8% and 3% of febrile illness cases. Treating patients with AFI attending the peripheral health facilities with doxycycline could prevent development of AES and thereby reduce deaths due to AES in Gorakhpur region.