Health officials in Kota district, Rajasthan state, India are on alert after a woman died from scrub typhus, according to a Times of India report Saturday. This was the ninth scrub typhus case reported in the district this year.

Image depicts an adult and a larval chigger poised on the head of a pin/CDC

The victim is a 45-year-old woman who was hospitalized and treated; however, she succumbed to the disease.

Dr R K Yadav, chief medical health officer, Kota said, “We have alerted the officials in the district and directed them to conduct surveys in the area where the cases are being reported.”

Scrub typhus fever is a disease caused by bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. The pathogen is transmitted through the bite of larval mites (chiggers) of the Trombiculidae family, which serve as both the vector and the reservoir. It is not transmitted person-to-person.

Rodents of the family Muridae (rats and mice) are common hosts for trombiculid mites and may support O. tsutsugamushi.

Scrub typhus fever occurs most commonly among people in contact with overgrown terrain, forest clearings, reforested areas, and new settlements in certain areas of Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, northern China, and Korea.

Patients with severe scrub typhus can develop multiorgan failure and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy with hemorrhage. Establishing the diagnosis and initiating prompt antimicrobial drug therapy are important, because death rates for untreated scrub typhus patients are 1-30 per cent. Scrub typhus is effectively treated with doxycycline, and treatment should begin immediately upon suspicion of illness without awaiting laboratory confirmation. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page