Clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes of scrub typhus in a rural health care facility on the Thailand-Myanmar border

  • Tobias Brummaier Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chatporn Kittitrakul Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Vorada Choovichian Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Saranath Lawpoolsri Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chayadol Namaik-larp Umphang Hospital, Umphang, Thailand
  • Yupaporn Wattanagoon Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
Keywords: scrub typhus, Scrub Typhus, eschar, Eschar, resource-limited, Resource-limited, clinical manifestations, Clinical Manifestations

Abstract

Introduction: Scrub typhus is endemic in rural Southeast Asia. The district of Umphang in northwestern Thailand is a prototype environment for this disease. We report the clinical manifestations and outcomes of patients diagnosed with scrub typhus in this area.

Methodology: Patients diagnosed with scrub typhus between 2011 and 2014 were analyzed. Diagnosis was based on clinical symptoms in conjunction with a positive rapid test or a pathognomonic eschar lesion.

Results: A total of 857 patients were included, of which 488 were adults and 369 were children. Most patients (728; 84.9%) were included via a positive serology on rapid test, 86 patients (10.0%) had eschar only, and 43 patients (5.0%) had both sero-confirmation and presence of eschar. The most common symptom was fever (93.8%), followed by headache (48.1%) and cough (33.1%). Eschars were reported in 129 patients, with a significantly higher percentage in children (p < 0.001), and a different anatomical distribution was found when adults and children were compared. Common complications were elevated transaminases, acute kidney injury, and pneumonia. Most patients recovered from the disease.

Conclusions: Scrub typhus in Umphang district is common. Patients can present with a variety of clinical symptoms, regardless of the presence of fever. Standard treatment led to a favorable outcome in most patients.

Author Biographies

Tobias Brummaier, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

M.D.

Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Chatporn Kittitrakul, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

M.D.

Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Vorada Choovichian, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

M.D.

Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Saranath Lawpoolsri, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Assist. Prof.

Department of Tropical Hygiene,
Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Chayadol Namaik-larp, Umphang Hospital, Umphang, Thailand

M.D.

Yupaporn Wattanagoon, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Assoc. Prof.

Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine

Published
2017-06-01
How to Cite
1.
Brummaier T, Kittitrakul C, Choovichian V, Lawpoolsri S, Namaik-larp C, Wattanagoon Y (2017) Clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes of scrub typhus in a rural health care facility on the Thailand-Myanmar border. J Infect Dev Ctries 11:407-413. doi: 10.3855/jidc.8912
Section
Original Articles