10 things one should know about Chikungunya

Friday, 23/09/2016

Following are some of the things one should know about Chikungunya.


Chikungunya fever is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is caused by the Chikungunya virus. It is mostly found in the African and Asian countries.The mosquito (Aedesaegypti) which carries this virus is an aggressive daytime biter which is attracted towards humans. Monkeys and other wild animals are known to be reservoirs of this virus. This virus has been highly reported in Africa, Asia and some parts of Europe. To date, Chikungunya infection has not been reported in dogs.


Rarely any human can have Chikungunya without any symptoms. The main symptom of the disease is severe pain in the joint. This can increase and lead to an illness with fever, headache, rash, vomiting and fatigue. Acute Chikungunya case can last from few days to few weeks but in some cases, it can hold up to a much longer time.


As stated before, this mosquito also known as the Asian tiger is an aggressive daytime biter, one should be very careful about this if living in tropical regions. People who are travelling in South should cover their skin mainly the limbs. Near the beach, it’s safe because this mosquito stays away from sunlight and breeds in swampy areas. These mosquitos are the same that cause dengue as well.


Mothers who have Chikungunya during pregnancy do not transmit the virus to their babies. However, there are registered cases of transmissions from the mother to child if the mother has the fever in the days leading up to the delivery or during delivery. A caesarian baby is equally vulnerable to this problem.


Pregnant women living in or visiting affected regions should take sensible precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Effective/immediate control of Aedes mosquito populations can prove to be vital. Pregnant women from no endemic regions should be discouraged from travelling to areas where the epidemic is active at present. Physicians attending on pregnant women with a fever should consider the possibility of Chikungunya infection as its cause.


Standing water is the main cause and a perfect place for the Chikungunya mosquito to breed. Although it’s an aggressive daytime biter but make no mistake of its greed for human blood. Keep your place neat and clean. Do not let water be kept at a certain place for a long time so as to become a breeding place for Asian Tiger. Clean your cooler water, change you flower pot water and any other place you know of.


If you are a traveller and are travelling somewhere south at a tropical region then the best thing you can do is to cover your skin to prevent the mosquito bite specifically the limbs. Wear clothes that cover the maximum parts of your body. Another precaution that one can take is to wear a bug spray.


The best way to minimise the risk of Chikungunya is to keep your surrounding clean. Stay in a properly conditioned room, try not to litter around and stay away from the places that you think might breed any kind of mosquitos. Pregnant women, kids and old people are the most vulnerable. So help them out and also keep their surrounding clean and tidy.


If one is infected by the Chikungunya virus there is no particular treatment that should be done, other than taking proper rest, diet and medication. For mothers who are pregnant it is really difficult to do anything by themselves so a family member should be around and moreover the doctors should have clean hands and tools while performing any kind of treatment. For the kids, it should be made compulsory not to play in the swampy and dirty water. And for those who are old should take care of themselves as well as their surroundings.


The disease is not a life-threatening one if you follow what your doctor has suggested you. Other than that one can use supportive cares, such as pain relievers and extra fluids. One should also take care of his/her diet, which definitely will decide how long it is going to take for you to get rid of this disease.

Nobody wants his/her family member to be infected by any disease specially Chikungunya. It may not be dangerous but it’s the most common one. Take care of the close ones and help them in every way possible so that they get well soon. And all of this is possible only if you know what to do and how to do it. Let’s not forget that everything is in the hands of God but we should make an effort so that we can at least play over part. After all, it’s our family and surrounding on the line.


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