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Rev Chilena Infectol



[Scrub typhus, an emerging infectious disease in Chile].


Abarca K, Weitzel T, Martínez-Valdebenito C, Acosta-Jamett G
Rev Chilena Infectol. 2018; 35(6):696-699.
PMID: 31095191.


Scrub typhus, caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi and transmitted by larvae of trombiculid mites, is an endemic rickettsiosis in the Asia Pacific region. After the first identification of a case in Chile in 2006, more than 30 cases have been diagnosed by our group since 2015. Cases were detected predominantly during the Chilean summer months. Patients presented with fever, rash, and a typical eschar at the inoculation site; other frequent findings were intense headache, night sweats, increased laboratory markers of inflammation and transaminases. The vast majority of cases have been diagnosed in southern Chile (mainly Chiloé Island), although recently some cases were also identified in the central Metropolitan Region in patients returning from trips to southern Chile. Physicians attending Chilean patients should be aware of this emerging infection to be able to initiate empirical therapy with doxycycline. The confirmation of cases by the diagnostic methods available in Chile will contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiological and clinical relevance of this emerging infection in South America.