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A mysterious insect has killed four seniors in Guangzhou

Posted: 05/31/2012 11:00 am

There are concerns in Guangzhou over a particular insect that doctors believe contributed to the deaths of four senior citizens, according to Yangcheng Evening News.

Scrub typhus, also known as Japanese river fever or flood fever, is an acute febrile typhus disease. There are cases every year, particularly in summer as the muggy weather is conducive to insects breeding. According to the report, the four people who died have something in common: they had all been to Xiaogang Park(晓港公园)and apparently ignored the warning signs. The first symptom of having been bitten by the bug is a fever, which patients usually mistake for a cold and delay seeking medical help. In addition, people don’t always pay attention to bites on the waist, armpit, abdomen or thigh.

However, doctors say that patients should not be too worried as the illness is curable if identified. The signs can be very subtle so if you have any symptoms such as high fever, dry and flaking skin or scabs, you may need to see a doctor immediately. Doctors warn that following precautions should be taken when in parks or other grassy areas:

  • apply insect-repellent to your skin;
  • Wear long sleeves;
  • Do not sit or lie on the grass;
  • Do not touch the crops;

As always, maintain a high level of personal hygiene.  But maybe the best advice?  Avoid going to Xiaogang Park, at least for now.

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