Scrub Typhus Among Kindergarten Children in Orchid Island

P.H. Wu

1993 Vol.9 NO.2

Correspondence Author:


Scrub typhus (tsutsugamushi disease) is an old disease in Taiwan. It has been particularly prevalent in offshore islands such as: Penghu. Kinmen, Matsu and the Orchid Island. In 1915, Hatorit(1) first reported scrub typhus in Taiwan. Thereafter, more cases were reported from different parts of Taiwan(2). Since the return of Taiwan to the Republic of China, cases of scrub typhus have often been reported from Penghu(3). In 1970, an outbreak occurred in Fengping Township of Hualien County(4). Of all the reported cases, however, none among the Orchid Island residents has ever been infected. Wu’s(5) survey shows that in 1984 the serum antibody positive rate for scrub typhus of military draftees from the Orchid Island was the highest (80.6%). The survey of 1988 gave a serum antibody positive rate of 96% for residents of the Island(6). The Epidemiology Bulletin of 1985(7) reported two infections of Taipei residents after visiting the Orchid Island. Why then have there been no reported cases of scrub typhus among residents of the Island? Is it because the pathogenicity of the rickettsia is lower there, or because cases are not identified and reported due to poorer medical care facilities? The question deserves further investigation.