The first case of Chikungunya was reported early in 1952, during an epidemic outbreak in southern Tanzania. This disease has been identified in 60 countries including all most all the continents like Asia, Africa, Europe, America, and others. This virus is transmitted through mosquito bite resulting in fever and joint pains. The symptoms associated with this disease are severe and long-lasting.
This disease was limited only to the tropical regions of te globe, but many cases have reported more than the one-quarter of the earth.
Chikungunya infection was listed in the World Health Organization’s R&D Blueprint of 2016 at the meeting held on Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and made a goal of developing a vaccine able to find a cure for this deadly disease, along with various diseases such as MERS, Ebola, and others.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of chikungunya virus appear within few days of infection which is caused by a mosquito bite. The most relevant symptoms are fever, joint pains and also include a headache, muscle pain, rashes and swelling around the joints. Symptoms such as maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis, nausea, and vomiting are noticed in rare cases. Chikungunya is rarely fatal but the symptoms are severe and extreme. Mostly, patients recover from this fever within a week, but the joint pain persists for months. It is observed that 20% of patients have reported joint pain even after 1 year.
There may be other symptoms like muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rashes which look similar to small red spots all over the body. As discussed joint pain will be severe and prolonged in some cases.
There is a chance that the disease may recur if not healed properly.
If this disease is contracted to particularly old people or children and those suffering from hypertension or diabetes can be extremely dangerous.
Chikungunya was derived from the language of Kimakonde spoken by the native people of southern Tanzania. The word means that which is contorted. This refers to a distorted position by the people when they are affected by joint pain.
How chikungunya is spread
The natural hosts of the chikungunya virus are Humans and other primates which are been spread by the bite of a female Aedes species mosquito which contains the virus ( the scientific name is Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus). These are the same tropical mosquitoes which carry the dengue virus.
These mosquitoes breed near the human habitations and feed on humans during the daytime in shady areas and also bite in the night.
Treatment for chikungunya:
There are no specific drugs or medications to treat this deadly disease, Patients are simply recommended to rest and consume plenty of fluids. Though there are no treatments, the symptoms can be brought down.
Cure the symptoms:
- Take rest for longer periods.
- Drink plenty fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Consume medicines like acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain.
- Consumption of aspirin and other non-steroidal drugs are not recommended
- If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
Drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help in relieving the fever and joint pain.Physiotherapy may be a great benefit in relieving Long lasting aches. As there is no vaccine to prevent or treat chikungunya
Chikungunya viral infection may be contagious as there is no chance of direct transfer of Chikungunya virus from person to person, so chikungunya cannot be directly transferred from humans because the virus has to pass through a mosquito.But , outbreaks can happen in populations where a huge number of mosquitoes and humans are infected with the virus.There are some rare cases where the virus may be transmitted from the mother to newborn babies. While researchers proved that virus may possibly be transferred by blood transfusions from an infected individual.
This disease may be diagnosed by blood antibody tests which determine between chikungunya and dengue fever, a similar viral disease.As there is no vaccine available to treat or prevent Chikungunya. Medical treatments and home remedies relieve the symptoms. Patients are recommended to take proper rest fluids and medicines that might reduce the fever and pain. Researchers suggest developing lifelong immunity to this virus as it retains.