Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Public warned about the dangers of scrub typhus

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Taitung County Public Health Bureau on Monday urged the public to take protective measures when visiting grass fields during the Tomb Sweeping holiday as the nation enters the scrub typhus season.

Scrub typhus becomes most prevalent this month, bureau Disease Control Division staffer Huang Chi-hsuan (黃崎軒) said.

Chiggers hide in the grass and climb onto people when they get a chance, and after about 12 to 24 hours they move to an appropriate location to bite the host.

Symptoms such as headache, fever, chills and conjunctival hyperemia can appear six to 21 days after the bite, Huang said.

Roughly a week after the onset of the disease, dark red papules appear and complications such as pneumonia and abnormal liver function can occur, he said.

Scrub typhus can even cause death, Huang said.

People can reduce their chances of contracting the disease by wearing light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when they go outside, and by applying mosquito repellent and wearing gloves when they enter fields of grass, he said.

When returning home, people should immediately take a shower to avoid contracting the disease, he added.

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