Scrub Typhus in Taiwan from 2001 to 2010

Shih-Chun Huang, Jhy-Wen Wu, Christine Ding-Ping Liu

2012 Vol.28 NO.3

Correspondence Author: ih-Chun Huang


Scrub typhus is an acute febrile disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Humans are infected through the bites of larval trombiculid mites (chiggers). The main purpose of this report is to illustrate the occurrence of scrub typhus in Taiwan from the year 2001 to 2010 through analysis of reported and confirmed case data. The results showed that the disease predominates from June to July, mostly distributed in Hualien County, Kinmen County, Taitung County, and Penghu County. The majority of clinical symptoms of the confirmed cases is fever (90.9%), followed by headache (26.9%), and eschar (26.2%). Practitioners are reminded to inquire for travel history from fever patients, to aid in early diagnosis of scrub typhus. Among imported cases, most are brought into the country from Mainland China with 31.6% (6/19). Those who travel between the two countries or to high scrub typhus risk areas are advised to be vigilant and pay attention to scrub typhus prevention to decrease the risk of infection. Summer is the season for scrub typhus epidemics; thus people should take preventive measures when participating in outdoor activities and seek medical assistance as soon as possible scrub typhus symptoms appear to avoid delay in diagnosis and treatment.