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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Scrub Typhus in Nepal

28 Jun 2017

Media reportsLink that there have been 1627 suspected cases of scrub typhus with 504 confirmed since July 2016. Four people have died of the infection. Scrub typhus testing kits are unavailable in government hospitals, forcing people to visit private healthcare instead. This could lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment.

Advice for Travellers

Scrub typhus is an infection caused by a rickettsia-like bacteria. The infection is transmitted by infected larval trombiculid mites and rats or mice may act as reservoirs. Humans may become infected in areas where the mites and rodents are present, most often areas of low-lying scrub brush or vegetation.

Travellers should be aware of the risk of scrub typhus, particularly those visiting rural areas who should avoid close contact with this type of vegetation. The skin should be protected with clothing (ideally permethrin treated) and DEET insect repellent on exposed skin.

For further advice on insect bite avoidance see the following link: Insect Bite Avoidance