Chikungunya Symptoms, Causes And Prevention

With the outburst of change in seasons, most of the Indian cities are prone to severities and this year Chikungunya and Dengue as viral infections top the charts for it. Identified in almost 60 countries of Asia, Africa, America and Europe, Chikungunya was first reported in 1952 during an outbreak in southern Tanzania. Derived from the Kimakonde lingo of southern Tanzania, it factually refers to the contorted position affected human are constrained to be in when affected by the severe joint pains.

Vector & Symptoms of Chikungunya

The females of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegyptii are the responsible species of mosquitoes which transmits this severe viral from human to human. These mosquitoes are active through the day.

Severe (in some cases prolonged) joint pain and abrupt onset of fever are the two crucial symptoms of Chikungunya. Other indicators like Fatigue, Headache, Nausea, Muscle pain and body rashes are also common in this viral infection.

Diagnostic Test

Diagnosed with a blood test RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) as prescribed by doctors to determine the severity of this disease. IgM titers quantify body’s response to an active infection by measuring the concentration or rising levels of anti-bodies in the blood. Repeated blood tests are conducted to determine the drop in numbers of leucocytes in blood because of this viral infection.

Vaccination & Medication

No vaccine so far has been devised for Chikungunya under Allopathic treatment. Non-Asprin based, Non-Steroidal and Anti-Inflammatory painkillers are prescribed by doctors to alleviate the joint pains. However Nilavembu decoction prescribed a herbal treatment which has not been verified by studies yet, though many people believe in this school of thought as well.

Difference Between Dengue & Chikungunya

While the Dengue spreads only through mosquitoes and its symptoms subside in about 15 days, Chikungunya can get circulated by cattle, birds and monkeys besides mosquitoes and can be prolonged for 3-6 months. High fever is a common under both circumstances but Platelet count drops drastically in Dengue while Chikungunya excruciates severe joint pain.

Prevention & Cure

“Prevention is better than cure” and when the course of cure is far way off, it is a mandate to take necessary actions to prevent such severity from occurrence. First and foremost course of action in this regard shall get prevented by mosquito’s bites. Keep your body parts covered with full sleeves Shirts and Full bottoms. Use mosquito’s nets and close the windows at sun-set to avoid those entering homes. Keep the surrounding clean so that mosquitoes are not able to breed. Don’t let water stagnant in pools and plants.  Cover the lids of your water-tanks effectively.

High time to get proactive to prevent outspread of this viral infection and let the capital of India stands victorious against it.

Sources: Various health and medical websites and journals in consultation with certified health professionals.