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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Scrub Typhus in Thailand

26 Nov 2014

The Ministry of Public Health has issued an alert to raise public awareness of the risk of scrub typhus in forested areas of the country. More than 8000 cases of scrub typhus have been reported in 2014, including 5 fatalities. Winter is a popular time for camping in forested areas of Thailand.

Advice for Travellers

Scrub typhus is a disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mite. The incubation period is usually between 10-12 days; symptoms include fever followed by headache, profuse sweating, red eyes, swollen glands and rash.

Scrub typhus is found in central, eastern and southeastern Asia; from Siberia and Japan to northern Australia and Vanuatu. It is particularly prevalent in northern Thailand. Treatment is with tetracycline or chloramphenicol antibiotics.

Travellers at risk are advised to avoid insect bites in forested areas of Thailand. Travellers who develop a fever on return from tropical areas should always seek medical attention.