Chikungunya: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

What is Chikungunya?

 

  • Chikungunya is a Viral illness Spread by the Bite of Infected Mosquitoes and Clinically Resembles Dengue Fever.
  • The Names Comes from the African Language Meaning “That Which Bends Up” and Aptly Describes the stopped Appearance of Sufferers with Joint Pain Due to the Disease.
  • This mosquito is typically found in tropics and thus chikungunya is prevalently found in Asian nations. It by and large bites amid the day time.

How Does Chikungunya Spread?

 

  • Typical Symptoms Are Similar to That of Dengue: Sudden Onset Fever, Severe Headache, Chills, Nausea and Vomiting, and Severe Joint Pains.
  • Most Patients Recover Fully, but in Some Cases, the Joint Pains May Persist for Weeks or Months.
  • Children Less Than 1 Year and Elderly Are at Greater Risk of Severe Disease.
    – Underlying Medical Conditions Have Also Been Identified as a Risk Factor for Poor Disease Outcome.
  • Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite during the day and at night.

How Does Chikungunya Spread?

Chikungunya Clinical Signs and Symptoms

 

  • Typical Symptoms Are Similar to That of Dengue: Sudden Onset Fever, Severe Headache, Chills, Nausea and Vomiting, and Severe Joint Pains.
  • Most Patients Recover Fully, but in Some Cases, the Joint Pains May Persist for Weeks or Months.
  • Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
  • Children Less Than 1 Year and Elderly Are at Greater Risk of Severe Disease.
    – Underlying Medical Conditions Have Also Been Identified as a Risk Factor for Poor Disease Outcome.
  • Other symptoms may include muscle pain, a headache, rash orjoint swelling.

Chikungunya Symptoms

Chikungunya Management of Patient

  • Chikungunya Is Diagnosed by Blood Tests (Elisa).
  • Symptomatic Management
    – Adequate Rest; Medicines to Reduce Joint Pains and Fever. Some Patients May Require Long-Term Pain Management Medication.
  • Patients Should Avoid Further Mosquito Exposure, Either by Staying in Places with Screens or by Using Mosquito Nets.
  • Treatment should be instituted in all suspect cases without waiting for serological or viral confirmation.
  • Aspirin is preferably avoided for fear of gastrointestinal and other side effects like Reye’s syndrome.

Prevention and Control Are Entirely Dependent on Taking Steps to Avoid Mosquito Bites and Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites.

Prevent Mosquito Breeding

  • Discard/ Destroy Unused Items.
  • Drain Out Water from Various Containers.
  • Regularly Change Water and Clean Flower Vases and Other Items.
  • Empty Coolers.
  • Cover Water Storage Containers.

 

To Stop or to Slow Down the Dengue Transmission “Thermal Fogging”, Using Fogging Machines Is a Supplemental Measure. In Fogging, We Should Use an Insecticide That Has an Immediate Knock-Down Effect on Adult Mosquitoes.

 

Individual and Household Protection

  • Wear full sleeves and full-length clothes to cover limbs.
  • Repellents may be applied to exposed skin or to clothing, in strict accordance with label instructions.
  • Insecticide-treated mosquito nets afford good protection for those who sleep during the day (e.g. infants, elderly).
  • Household insecticide aerosol products, mosquito coils or insecticide vaporisers may also reduce biting activity.
  • Household fixtures such as window and door screens and air-conditioning can also reduce biting.

“Controlling Dengue and Chikungunya is everyone’s responsibility.”

Article Credit: World Health Organization

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