What is chikungunya?
Chikungunya Infection is a mosquito-borne viral disease, something similar to dengue.
Chikungunya is a virus that is spread by specific mosquitoes. It can’t be spread from person to person.
The mosquitoes which spread this infection are..
- Aedes aegypti
- Aedes albopictus.
These mosquitoes contain the virus when they feed on an infected person. The virus spreads in the system of this mosquito and reaches to its salivary glands. And then, when the mosquito feeds on a person, it infects him.
If you notice any of the below symptoms, you need to report your family doctor or a general physician immediately:
- Continuous high fever above 38.5 degree Celsius
- Joint pain
- Skin Rash
Symptoms of Chikungunya
- High fever
- Severe muscle and joint pain
- Severe headache
- Painful abdominal cramps
- Cold fingers and toes
- Rashes on the skin due to damaged blood vessels
- Enlarged painful lymph node in the neck
- Sore throat
Chikungunya symptoms can often be confused and very similar to dengue. However, some symptoms such as debilitating joint pains are unique and specific to chikungunya.
In fact, it is said that dengue and arthritis combined is equal to chikungunya.
Genrally In dengue, the muscle pain is very much noticeable.
How does chikungunya occur?
When Aedes mosquito bites a person suffering from chikungunya, the chikungunya virus enters to the mosquito’s system. After getting infected and when the mosquito feeds on another person, the virus gets transmitted to the another person.
The virus travels through his body and spreads to different diffeerent glands in the body. It enters in to the bloodstream and causes inflammation of the blood vessels, causing it to swell and leak.
The chikungunya virus generally targets joints, muscles, skin, and less frequently, the liver, kidneys, eyes and the central nervous system.
The chikungunya virus majorly infects the muscle cells of the body. Once it infects a muscle cell, it keeps reproducing till the cell dies and then the viruses move in to a new cell.
Diagnosis of Chikungunya
ELISA blood test :
A specific blood test which is known as ELISA blood test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is done to confirm the presence of chikungunya virus in a patient.
During the test, if IgM antibodies are found (which can be last up to one year in the blood) then it confirms the presence of chikungunya virus in the body.
complications of chikungunya
- neurological imbalances
- ocular disease / eye disease like uveitis or retinitis
- jaundice due to liver damage
- myocarditis i.e inflammation of the heart muscle
- acute renal disease when kidneys get affected
- severe bullous lesions
- neurological diseases like meningoencephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myelitis, or cranial nerve palsies
Treatment for chikungunya
There is no particular and specific medication or treatment available for chikungunya. Most of the people get better on their own and recover completely.
Most of the symptoms usually improve within a week or two, but joint pain can last for a few months.
The virus is typically more effective on newborns, people over 60, and people who have high blood pressure, disorder like diabetes, or heart disease. If you or someone has symptoms and is in one of these groups, consult or report your doctor immediately.
The usual treatment for the severe chikungunya consists of:
- Providing Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement therapy
- Monitoring blood pressure at regular interval
- Blood transfusion to replace the blood loss, if required.
- Wear long sleeves shirt and long pants to avoid mosquito bites.
- Stay in clean and mosquito free areas or avoid to go in public areas when it is in peak.
- Use mosquito net over your bed.
- Dump out any standing water in things like flower pots, cooler etc in your house or hotel room.
In this article we’ve answered below common questions ! hope you found the answers ..
- What is chikungunya virus infection?
- How chikungunya occur?
- What are the symptoms of chikungunya infection?
- How to diagnose chikungunya ?
- What are the complications for chikungunya?
- What is the current treatment for chikungunya?
Also read : Dengue and it’s symptoms