Sinlung /
20 April 2011

Mizoram To Send Dog Ticks to Delhi

Riphicephalus Sanguineus dog tickAizawl, Apr 20 : Mizoram Health department would send dog ticks known as Riphicephalus Sanguineus, collected from south Mizoram's Thanzamasora hamlet, to the laboratories in the National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi for tests in view of the death of six villagers due to Indian Tick Typhus disease.

An official statement issued today said that though the cause of death of the six people in Thanzamasora in Lunglei district during March were declared as cerebral malaria, it was found to be due to an extremely rare disease known as the Indian Tick Typhus.

The statement said that the blood samples of some patients in Thazamasora, showing the same symptoms, were sent to the National Centre for Disease Control, and the laboratory tests confirmed that the disease was Indian Tick Typhus.

A particular Tick found in rodents and domestic dogs could be infected with a bacteria known as Rickettsia Conorii Indica and if the tick bites a human being, the bacteria could be fatal, if treated belatedly.

The statement said that the disease was not endemic, but a remote village surrounded by dense forest could be vulnerable.

The disease was detected in 1999 from a French tourist and also amongst tea garden workers in Kerala in 2004, the statement added.Six villagers of Thanzamasora died under mysterious circumstances during mid-March in a short span of time triggering panic in the village occupied by superstitious Chakma community.

The 'Bawlpu' or village animistic priest fueled the fire of panic by announcing that the deaths were due to spell of black magic by a 'bawlpu' from another village.

Many villagers fled the hamlet for other villages while some of them hid in the nearby forests.

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