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Int J Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;17(8):e644-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.12.023. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Scrub typhus complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute liver failure: a case report from Northeast India.

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  • 1Department of General Medicine, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Mawdiangdiang, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a serious complication of scrub typhus. Only a few cases of scrub typhus complicated by ARDS have been discussed in the literature to date. Herein we report the case of a patient who presented with scrub typhus complicated by ARDS and acute liver failure (ALF) and who was successfully treated in our institute. Due to the non-specificity and diversity of the initial presenting symptoms, a lack of awareness about the disease amongst physicians, and the lack of accessibility to facilities for serodiagnosis in developing countries, there is a chance of misdiagnosis during the early stage. At the same time, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial to prevent life-threatening complications. Our patient was initially misdiagnosed with a common cold and then malaria. By the time a correct diagnosis was made, complications had already developed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of scrub typhus complicated by ARDS and ALF to be reported from the northeastern region of India.

Copyright © 2013 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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