Hospitals report rare tick fever cases in Capital
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Hospitals in the city have reported cases of rickettsial disease caused by tick bites — a rare infectious fever that is common in hilly regions having a tropical climate.
Though doctors said the disease "is very rare" in Delhi, AIIMS has reported at least two cases in its paediatric unit over the past six weeks.
Serological reports from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed that these patients were afflicted with scrub typhus, a variant of rickettsia.
Doctors at three private hospitals said they had sent samples to the NCDC and received confirmed reports.
Serological tests to confirm the infection is not available in government and most private hospitals.
The Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr N V Kamat said the city's infectious disease surveillance programme was yet to be notified about the cases.
Dr V K Paul, the head of paediatrics in AIIMS, said: "The disease is very rare and we do not often get patients suffering from the it in Delhi. But we have received confirmation from the NCDC that two of our patients were diagnosed with Scrub Typhus over the past six weeks."
Dr Atul Gogia, associate consultant of internal medicine in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said: "We have seen 8-10 cases of scrub typhus in the past month. We used to see a case once a year. This year, there has been a sudden jump. So we are sending every suspected, unexplained fever for tests."
Dr Gogia said patients have a characteristic black mark, known as eschar, left by the mite on the body accompanied by fever.
Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant of internal medicine in Saket-based Max Hospital, said at least 10 confirmed cases of scrub typhus were reported at the hospital.
"I have seen 10 cases this season. At least four patients had to be admitted, some in the ICU. Patients who had travelled to mountainous regions get the disease," he said.
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