Chikungunya Virus: Symptoms and Treatment

Chikungunya is a disease spread by mosquitoes. This disease is very common in the countries of Africa and Asia. However, some cases of this mosquito-borne disease have also been found in parts of Europe and America. The term chikungunya is derived from the Kimakonde language which is spoken in the southeastern region of Tanzania and northern Mozambique. Below you will read all information about Chikungunya Virus Symptoms, Diagnose, Prevention & Treatment.

Chikungunya Virus | Symptoms, Diagnose, Prevention & Treatment

Chikungunya Virus Overview, Symptoms, Diagnostic Methods, Prevention Tips, Treatment Approaches

It is a virus that is transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). The spread of chikungunya usually occurs outside the home and during day time. In particular, mosquitoes are most active in the early morning or late afternoon before dark and hence, Chikungunya spreads more rapidly during these times. This viral infection is characterized by high fever accompanied by muscle and joint pain. Apart from this, problems like headache, dizziness, fatigue and rashes can also be its other symptoms.

Chikungunya usually begins between 3-7 days after the mosquito bite. Although this problem gets cured on its own, but for the elderly and people suffering from any other type of disease, this infection can also prove to be fatal. There is no cure or vaccine for Chikungunya. However, the treatment of this problem is based on relieving its symptoms like fever, pain and swelling.

What are the Symptoms of Chikungunya Virus?

The symptoms and signs of Chikungunya last for 10-12 days, which gradually get better on their own. Apart from fever and unbearable pain in the joints, some other problems can be felt in Chikungunya. Some of them are as follows ;

Tender lymph nodes
Vomiting (within 2 to 22 days after infection)
There is a lot of pain in the joints of a person in chikungunya fever.
Sometimes it takes more than 6 months for this pain to heal.
Patient always has fever (around 100 degree or above).
The fever becomes sharp even at a fixed time.
Red colored rashes are formed on the body.
The patient does not feel hungry and always feels tired.
There is headache and cough and cold.

Often, people mistake the symptoms of chikungunya for those of other mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue. But, they have different effects on the body. For example, the severity of fever in this is different from other diseases. Similarly, in dengue many times the patient also shows symptoms like bleeding.

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Whereas, in Malaria Patients have high fever which increases significantly in the evening. After which problems like cold and sweating keep happening again and again and again. So on the other hand in Chikungunya patients feel severe pain (especially, unbearable pain in joints) along with high fever. In all these three conditions patients can have 102 degree fever.

Chikungunya Virus | Symptoms, Diagnose, Prevention & Treatment

What are the Causes of Chikungunya?

Experts Says, Chikungunya is caused by viral infection and the virus is transmitted from infected person to healthy person by mosquitoes. Chikungunya mosquitoes can be seen breeding during day time and in healthy water.

Poor hygiene, coming in contact with an infected person, living in and traveling to infected areas, a weakened immune system, and stagnant water around your home can increase your risk of chikungunya. Similarly, people above 65 years of age, newborn children, patients with diabetes, blood pressure and heart diseases are more prone to chikungunya.

How to Diagnose Chikungunya?

Most doctors prefer first test for dengue and malaria to detect this disease. Then, a test for chikungunya is done. A simple blood test (CHIKV) is done to detect this mosquito-borne disease.

Apart from this, you may also need to undergo other blood tests like ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays). With the help of which chikungunya fighting anti-bodies (Immunoglobulin M and Immunoglobulin G) can be detected in the body. Your doctor may also suggest another blood test called RT-PCR to check your blood. Which is done within a week of being infected to infection.

What is the Treatment of Chikungunya?

Chikungunya virus is not fatal, but its symptoms can be severe and disabling. Most patients recover from fever within a week, but joint pain persists for several months. Even after 1 year, about 20% of patients complain of joint pain.

As it is a viral infection, there is no specific vaccine or medicine for chikungunya. In most cases, the patient recovers within a week. But, the problem of joint pain can persist for a few months. Medicines to reduce inflammation, fever and pain may be prescribed for the first treatment of Chikungunya. Also, patients are advised to take plenty of fluids and rest.

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Chikungunya Virus | Symptoms, Diagnose, Prevention & Treatment

What are the Prevention from Chikungunya?

Chikungunya is also spread by mosquito bites just like Dengue and Malaria and the symptoms of chikungunya usually start appearing a few days after the mosquito bite. Therefore, to prevent this, we should protect ourselves from mosquitoes.

It grows rapidly during the rainy season, so do not be negligent, do not allow water to accumulate around your house.

Do not allow garbage to accumulate in the dustbin for long. Also, always keep the dustbin covered.

Clean water in bucket, cooler and swimming pool daily.

This disease affects children and old people quickly, so children should wear full sleeve clothes in this season.

If the problem is more then see the doctor immediately.

Avoid bathing in river and swimming pool as much as possible.

Use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD (p-methane-3,8-diyl).

Use air conditioning – it prevents mosquitoes from entering the room.

Use mosquito coils and insecticide vaporizers.

What should be the Diet in Chikungunya?

Consuming certain foods along with medicines can help in quick recovery from Chikungunya. That’s why, include these in your diet.

• Liquid

When a person has viral infections like chikungunya. So, there is a lack of water in the body. That is why, the patient should consume more amount of fluids so that the body gets sufficient amount of water. Consume healthy drinks like soup, buttermilk, lemonade and coconut water.

• Vitamin-C Rich Fruits

Such fruits increase the body’s ability to fight infection by strengthening your immune system. Fruits like orange, guava and lemon are good examples.

• Vegetables

Apart from being rich in essential nutrients, they are also easy to digest. Thereby, helping the gastrointestinal tract to function properly during infection. Consumption of green vegetables also provides quick relief from the symptoms of Chikungunya.

(Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. It is just to wake you up for your health purpose. Out intension is not to mislead or It cannot in any way be a substitute for any medicine or treatment. Always contact your doctor for more details.)

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