Clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes of scrub typhus in a rural health care facility on the Thailand-Myanmar border
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.
Copyright (c) 2017 Tobias Brummaier, Chatporn Kittitrakul, Vorada Choovichian, Saranath Lawpoolsri, Chayadol Namaik-larp, Yupaporn Wattanagoon
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