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(also called scrub typhus), an acute disease of man; a naturally endemic rickettsiosis. The reservoirs of the causative agent are rats, microtines, and mites of the superfamily Trombea. Tsutsugamushi occurs in Eastern and Southeast Asia and in Primor’e Krai in the USSR. A natural nidus of the disease exists in the Tadzhik SSR.
Tsutsugamushi develops after the victim is bitten by an infected mite. A small crusty ulcer appears on the site of the bite after an incubation period of 6–10 days. The disease sets in acutely with fever (39–40°C for 14–16 days), headaches, insomnia, muscular pain, and a bright red rash on the fifth to seventh days.
Serodiagnosis is used to detect the disease; treatment is by antibiotics. Preventive measures include the extermination of rats and insects in dwellings located in natural nidi of the disease, the use of mite repellents, and the wearing of protective clothing.
REFERENCEZdrodovskii, P. F., and E. M. Golinevich. Uchenie o rikketsiiakh i rikketsiozakh, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1972.
V. L. VASILEVSKII