What are the symptoms?
Abrupt onset of fever and severe joint pain. There can be other symptoms such as muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash – that is, small red spots all over the body. The joint pain can be severe and sometimes prolonged.
How is it transmitted?
It is transferred from human to human by mosquitoes. The females of Aedes Aegyptii and Aedes albopictus are the main species of mosquito that spread the disease. These mosquitoes bite through the day.
How to identify AEDES AEGYPTII mosquitoes?
This variety of mosquitoes are also known as “TIGER MOSQUITOES” by the presence of white strips on their limbs and also they are comparatively smaller in size then the Anopheles mosquitoes .
How is it diagnosed? What are the tests that must be performed and how?
IgM titers – a way of measuring the rising level of, or concentration of, antibodies in the blood, which quantifies the body’s response to an active infection - are what are tested in the blood. More specifically, the blood test that doctors ask for is called the RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) but it may not be available, so doctors test the drop in the number of leucocytes in the blood because of the viral infection.
The blood tests are repeated and a constant watch is kept on the blood count. If it drops, it is better to be under medical observation. At this stage, the doctors’ guidance is crucial.
What is the treatment?
There is no vaccine for chikungunya.
Treatment is mainly symptomatic
- By giving painkillers to relieve the joint pain – using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are not asprin-based.
- By giving antipyretics to bring down the temperature as a solution to get rid of fever .
- Both these options tend to further lowering the immunity/immune response of the body to fight against the virus as a foreign element entered the body .
- The patient is advised to take fluids.
Alternatives to Allopathy?
Of course there are much safer and logical mode of treatment sought out for this condition. Following tips and steps can be administered to not only TREAT THE DISAESE ITSELF BUT ALSO TO REDUCE THE OCCURANCE OF POST DISEASE COMPLICATIONS.
- First thing to be kept in mind is that there are majorly 2 symptoms (fever and joint pains) predominantly occurring in this disease and both can either start together or back and forth.
- Just by the appearance of the symptoms and a lot due to havoc created in general public patients start treating the fever by taking paracetamol/ or any other antipyretics to lower the temperature which can also be done by modes less aggressive and more mild on the human system.
- Cold fomentation – dipping 2-3 pieces of clean cloth in normal water or slightly chilled water if the patient agrees and should be applied on the forehead, palms and soles of the patient.
- Try maintaining a temperature and ventilation as per patient’s comfort which can include wrapping in blankets or even trying to maintain air flow by opening windows or fanning in between.
- Hydrate the patient as much as possible because as the body temperature rises so the demand of water increases by the internal organs of the body.
- Not to administer any antipyretics until temperature crosses the mark of 104 degree F for atleast 4-5 hrs .
- During fever , administration of anti hypertensives and anti diabetic medicines shouldn’t be done without the monitoring of the BP and Blood glucose levels.
- Now regarding joint pains , most of the cases if joint pains are ignored and no specifics taken then chances of post viral arthralgia is considerably low. So massage or just rubbing with hands or just a cotton cloth is suggested .
Any preventive methods?
Avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Keep the surroundings clear of stagnant water or pools where mosquitoes can breed. Use mosquito nets and close windows in the evening to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
How does it differ from dengue?
Chikungunya can circulate with the help of monkeys, birds and cattle, but dengue spreads only through mosquitoes. While for dengue the symptoms subside in about 15 days, for Chikungunya the symptoms can prolong for 3-6 months. While Chikungunya’s main symptoms are high fever and excruciating joint pain, dengue manifests with high fever, drop in platelet count and rash. Also in Dengue BONE PAINS are predominant and in Chikungunya JOINT PAINS takes place.
After effects of Chikungunya?
Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
Most patients feel better within a week. In some people following conditions and symptoms may persist for the months
- Joint pains
- General weakness
- Irritability or dullness in mood
- Gastric troubles mostly as a side effects of allopathic medicines consumed.