What is a chikungunya?
Chikungunya is a viral disease caused by the infected person to a healthy person through mosquitoes. The symptoms of chikungunya are joint pain and fever. Mostly, people start feeling better within a week but the joint pain may last for a month. The very old, young and other people with health problems are at risk of more severe diseases.
#Note: According to a recent study, the risk of death is around 1 in 1000.
The virus may also circulate between a number of rodents and birds. The disease can only be prevented by mosquito control measures. There is no specific treatment of this disease and recommendations include fluids, rest, and other medications to help with joint pain and fever. Chikungunya was first identified in 1952 in Tanzania and the terms mean “to become contorted”.
How is it caused?
It is transferred from infected person to healthy person by mosquitoes. The Aedes Albopictus and Aedes Aegyptii are the main female species of mosquitoes that spread the chikungunya infection. These mosquitoes mostly spread this disease through the day.
- Symptoms begin 4-7 days after bitten by a mosquito.
- Joint pain and fever and the most common symptoms of chikungunya.
- Other symptoms are muscle pain, rashes, headache or joint swelling.
- Chikungunya does not result in death but may cause disabling.
- People start feeling better in a week but the joint pain persists for months.
- People include newborn babies, older adults and people with other medical conditions are at more high risk of this disease.
- Once a person is infected, he/she is protected from such future infections.
The best way to prevent chikungunya is to avoid bitten by mosquitoes. Keep the pools or water clear where they can breed. Keep windows closed in the evening to prevent mosquitoes.
How is it diagnosed?
- The symptoms of this disease are similar to Zika and dengue. Moreover, the disease is spread by the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and Zika.
- Consult your doctor if you have developed any symptoms described above or visited area where it is found.
- You should also tell your doctor where and when you traveled.
- The doctor may do a blood test to check whether you are infected with this virus or not.
There is no specific treatment for this infection. It can be treated usually with fluids, bed rest, and medicines to get relief from fever and joint pain. The infected person should be protected from mosquitoes so that it cannot contribute to transmission cycle. It is treated by our immune system so there is no need to worry. According to experts, effective homeopathic drugs are available to prevent and speed up the recovery.
There is also a very famous herbal treatment commonly known as Nilavembu. Many people believe in this but it is not yet verified by studies. However, you can use this in parallel with your medications but it is important to take advice from your doctor.
If you are facing serious problems, you must consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- #Note: Consult a doctor in case you are unable to manage the health issues on your own.
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