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Diseases

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease that is spread by the infected Aedes mosquito. It is a species of mosquito that breeds in household container and bites during the day. It is caused by a virus of genus alphavirus in the family of togaviridae. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Chikungunya fever is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g. joint swelling), laboratory testing and the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for Chikungunya fever. Care is based on symptoms.

Revealing the Best Home Remedies for Chikungunya

Symptoms

It is generally characterized by abrupt onset of fever which is accompanied by joint pain. Other symptoms include:
• Muscle pain
• Fatigue and Nausea
• Headache
• Rash
• The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually ends within a few days or weeks.

Causes

Chikungunya virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person infected with Chikungunya virus. The incubation period (time from infection to illness) can be 2-12 days, but is usually 3-7 days. “Silent” Chikungunya virus infections (infections without illness) do occur, though rarely.

Diagnosis

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-Chikungunya antibodies.
Various reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) methods are also available but are of variable sensitivity. RT–PCR products from clinical samples may also be used for genotyping of the virus, allowing comparisons with virus samples from various geographical sources.

Treatments

There are no specific drugs to cure the disease.
• Analgesics (Pain killers) like Paracetamol, ibuprofen etc helps in relieving pain.
• Antiviral drugs like acyclovir are also given (but given only in complicated cases as prescribed by doctor).
• Fluid intake: Plenty of fluids intake helps in keeping hydrated

Preventions

There is no specific vaccine for the chikungunya. Prevention is similar to those for other viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as dengue:
• Use insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin. Always follow the directions on the package.
• Wear long sleeves and pants (ideally treat clothes with permethrin or another repellent).
• Have secure screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

References:
www.who.int (link is external)
www.nvbdcp.gov.in (link is external)
www.cdc.gov (link is external)
www.icmr.nic.in