Worldwide, particularly in Africa, Asia, and India are the most suffering areas from chikungunya. Chikungunya (pronunciation: chik-en-gun-ye) is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. The regular and common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include chills, nausea, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. In late 2013, for the first time in the Americas on islands of the Caribbean, the chikungunya virus is preventing. The risk is that the virus will transmit to new areas by infected travelers. There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent or treat chikungunya virus infection. The Travelers or passengers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
Symptoms of Chikungunya
1. Most people infected with the chikungunya virus will develop some common symptoms.
2. The most typical common symptoms are fever and joint pain.
3. Other symptoms may include chills, nausea, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
4. Chikungunya disease does not often lead to death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
5. Most patients feel better within a week. In some people, joint pain may persist for several months.
6. People at risk for more severe diseased conditions include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.
As of now, there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat the chikungunya virus. Generally, treatments for relieving symptoms:
1. Getting plenty of rest.
2. Drink an ample amount of fluids to prevent dehydration.
3. Take medicine such as Acetaminophen or paracetamol for fever and pain or as directed by your doctor.
4. If you are taking medicine for any other medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking additional medication.
5. If you have chikungunya, stay away or prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
When should one visit a doctor?
A person should visit a doctor as soon as he/she observes the symptoms of Chikungunya when they are starting to show up. The doctor will suggest a series of tests or investigations to check for the presence of the Chikungunya virus in the body and further diagnose a proper course of treatment.
A person must wear long or full-sleeved shirts and pants before going out. If possible, apply permethrin, a type of insecticide to repel mosquitoes, and apply it to the skin as a cream or lotion on clothing or on mosquito nets to kill the mosquitoes that touch them.
A mosquito repugnant must be applied on the uncovered parts of the skin, preferably one that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (PMD). These are some of the suggested ointments as they are highly effective and stay for a long time.
One should make sure that the windows and doors are correctly locked. Also, it is recommended that one must use insecticide-treated mosquito nets, not only at night but most essential during the daytime also as it is the time when the chances of one being stung by an infected mosquito are higher.