Chikungunya is a viral disease, mosquito-borne and an infection in humans. The natural hosts of the chikungunya virus are humans other primates, such as birds, rodents, monkeys and cattle. This disease is caused by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. They feed in humans during daytime near human habitations. The two mosquitoes are the same ones carrying the dengue virus. Also, the symptoms of chikungunya such as fever, rashes, headache and joint pain are similar to those of dengue fever. The chikungunya fever is transmitted via the bite of an infected virus to humans. Currently, there is no cure to the disease but medications for curing the symptoms are available. The only prevention method or mode is to prevent mosquito bites. The virus is not fatal.
Chikungunya virus is heat sensitive RNA virus. It belongs to alphavirus genus and Togaviridae family. This virus requires an agent for transmission and direct transmission from one human to another is not possible. The primary transmission agent of the chikungunya virus is Aedes aegypti. Aedes mosquito requires as little as 2 ml of water to breed and lay eggs – surprisingly, these eggs can lay for 1 year dormant.
Transmission of Chikungunya
The most common medium of the spread of chikungunya is through mosquito bites. Through blood and from mother to child infection are rare cases of chikungunya transmission. Mosquitoes feed on infected person, the virus incubates inside it and when it bites another person, he/she becomes infected with chikungunya. Therefore, the transmission occurs from human to human.
Symptoms of Chikungunya
It is characterized by sudden onset of signs and symptoms after 3-7 days of incubation, such as joint pain in arms and legs, muscle pain, high fever, headache, rashes and back pain. Joint pain varies from mild to severe, but is high during morning. The joint pain may last for years affecting the quality of life. The chikungunya virus can lead to acute, sub-acute or chronic diseased condition. Some people may feel and get better within or by 10 days, while others might experience the symptoms for long-term. Symptoms are disabling and severe but does not lead to death. Anyone can get infected with this virus, but people aged above 60 years, newborns and people suffering from medical conditions like heart diseases, high blood pressure or diabetes are more prone to severe disease. It is possible to prevent future infections in people already affected with the disease with proper diagnosis and treatment. Other symptoms may include nausea, conjunctivitis and vomiting. Heart, gastrointestinal and neurological complications are rare to occur. Often the symptoms are misunderstood and misdiagnosed in infected individuals in areas of dengue infection.
The symptoms last from 1 to 12 days of infection. Only in rare cases, no symptoms are noticed.
Diagnosis of Chikungunya
If the symptoms persist for long, visit a doctor. NextDoorLab understands that sparing time from your busy schedules is difficult and provides online service for providing care through free doctor consultation, online report generation, free home sample collection and complete diagnosis and treatment. Consult to the specialist from your home by dialing 0124-222-3197. Just visit www.nextdoorlab.com and order the test. The concerned person will reach to your place for free home sample collection. Although the signs and symptoms of chikungunya are similar to those of Zika and dengue, it is difficult to identify the disease. Inform the doctor about your last traveling and where and when did to traveled. Blood tests are performed for detection and blood sample is only required, which will be collected from your place with complete hygiene and safety. The presence of chikungunya fever can be detected by lab testing of cerebrospinal fluid or blood serum.
Treatment for Chikungunya
There is no medicine or vaccine to treat chikungunya fever. To alleviate chikungunya symptoms, the doctor will prescribe certain medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamol or acetaminophen. Along with this or other prescribed medication, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, are to be avoided, as they lead to Reye’s syndrome in which brain and liver swelling occurs, especially in children and teenagers. Drink plenty of fluids and take proper rest. In case you are on another medical condition prescription, pre-inform the doctor before starting additional medicine course.
Ayurvedic and homeopathic treatment for Chikungunya
People today are turning increasingly to Ayurveda – the traditional Indian medicine – which uses herbal medicines/drugs for treatment. Some concoctions or kashayams prescribed for chikungunya treatment are mahasudarshana churna, sudarshanam churnam, amrutharista, panchthiktha kashayam, amruthotharam kashayam and dhanvantaram gutika.
Certain homeopathic drugs effective in treating chikungunya include Eupatorium perf, Rhus-tox, Infleunzinum, Pyroginum, Arnica, Cedron, etc. Eupatorium perf is known to prevent chikungunya infection.
Chikungunya Prevention and Control
Chikungunya virus can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites, wearing long sleeved shirts and full pants, sleep under a mosquito bed net and using mosquito repellent. If you have chikungunya, then make sure to prevent yourself from mosquito bites in the first week of illness because the virus is present in your blood and plasma. The infection can be transmitted from one person to another when mosquito bites an infected person and it then bites another person who is fit and healthy.
The mosquitoes breed in open and clear water. Thus reduce the number of both natural and artificial habitats near you filled with water. Use insecticidal sprays to kill the flying mosquitoes.