Scrub typhus in the Torres Strait islands of north Queensland, Australia.
Bottom Line: We descript ten cases that occurred in the Torres Strait islands of northern Australia during 2000 and 2001.Preceding heavy rain may have contributed to the outbreak.The successful use of azithromycin in two pediatric patients is also reported.
Affiliation: Thursday Island Hospital, Queensland, Australia.
Scrub typhus, caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, occurs throughout Southeast Asia. We descript ten cases that occurred in the Torres Strait islands of northern Australia during 2000 and 2001. Preceding heavy rain may have contributed to the outbreak. The successful use of azithromycin in two pediatric patients is also reported.
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: A 28-year-old woman (patient 4) arrived at Darnley Island Health Centre in January 2001 with her 9-year-old son (patient 5); both complained of being ill for approximately 1 week. They reported fevers, headache, and generalized myalgia. The child also complained of vomiting and was noted to have a dry cough with some rhinorrhea. He was started on a course of amoxicillin. The next day, when seen at the visiting doctors clinic, both mother and son were given oral quinine to treat possible malaria. Over the next few days, both remained febrile with temperatures up to 40°C. They were transferred to Thursday Island Hospital. The mother had a typical black eschar on her left breast (Figure 1) with associated regional lymphadenopathy. She also had conjunctival injection. Oral doxycycline was administered, and the fever resolved over 3 days. Her son was treated with azithromycin (250 mg a day for 3 days) and became afebrile within 24 hours.