Distribution of Eschar in Pediatric Scrub Typhus

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Abstract

Background: Identifying an eschar in scrub typhus is useful for initiation of prompt and appropriate antibiotic therapy.

Methods: The distribution of eschars in all children <15 years of age admitted with confirmed scrub typhus over a 5 year period is described.

Results: Of 431 children admitted with scrub typhus, eschars were present in 176 (40.8%) children with the following distribution: head, face and neck, 33 (19.1%); axillae, 37 (21%); chest and abdomen, 21 (11.9%); genitalia, inguinal region and buttocks, 58 (33%); back, 8 (4.5%); upper extremities, 13 (7.4%); and lower extremities, 5 (2.8%). The commonest sites of eschars were scrotum (27 of 106; 25.5%) and axillae (15 of 106; 14.2%) in males and axillae (22 of 70; 31.4%) and groin (16 of 70; 22.9%) in females. Eschars were seen within skin folds in 100 of 176 (56.8%) children.

Conclusion: Children should be carefully examined for the presence of eschar especially in the skin folds of the genitalia, axillae and groin to make an early diagnosis of scrub typhus.

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