All You Need To Know About Chikungunya

Wednesday, 21/09/2016

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the infected mosquitoes. It is an RNA virus spread by a mosquito known as Aedes aegypti. Its symptoms are similar to that of diseases such as Dengue, Malaria and Leptospirosis. Chikungunya was known as Dengue fever for a long time. When it comes to the symptoms, there is little difference between Chikungunya and Dengue. There is no cure for Chikungunya infection. The treatment for Chikungunya is aimed at helping the patient by relieving the symptoms. The vicinity of mosquito breeding sites from your residence is an important risk factor to be considered for Chikungunya.

Like most viral diseases it comes and goes, no serious issues are caused by viral diseases unless some complication comes about. These complications can and usually do lead to issues. Though they are easily managed under medical supervision, but without it, it might cause life-threatening danger.

1. Signs and symptoms of Chikungunya

The initial symptoms are a high fever for a long time and Arthralgia (joint pain). Other symptoms are redness in the eyes and sensitivity to light, rashes on the limbs and severe headache. There are a few infrequent symptoms that occur in some cases, such as having a sore mouth, oral ulcers, skin spots and peeling of skin.

Symptoms of Chikungunya in children vary from those seen in the adults. The symptoms seen in the children are Photophobia (sensitivity to light), Retro-orbital Pain (problem in the eyes), vomiting, Diarrhoea, Meningeal Syndrome (a condition marked by a headache, fever and still neck) and acute Encephalopathy (an altered mental state).

2. Diagnosis of Chikungunya

The most reliable way of diagnosing Chikungunya is the ELISA Blood Test. Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction is another way of diagnosing this disease. This test can be done within 7 days on an acute phase specimen to confirm the infection.

Another way of diagnosing Chikungunya is the Four-Fold Hemagglutination Inhibition Antibody Difference in paired serum samples. This test turns out to be positive within 5 to 8 days of the infection. Some other ways of diagnosing Chikungunya are Immunofluorescence Assays and Plaque Reduction Neutralization Tests.

3. Treatment for Chikungunya virus

Just like Dengue, Chikungunya cannot be cured by medicines as well. It completely depends on one’s immune system, but there are some medicines/drugs prescribed for the treatment of certain symptoms. It is very important to consult the doctor, especially for pregnant women and people with health problems, before consuming any medicine for this disease.

4. Alternative Medicine
• Home remedies are generally enough for treating Chikungunya infection. Having a mix of honey and lime can be of great help in such situations. Drinking plenty of water and taking ample rest is the best cure for this disease.
• Ayurvedic treatment can also cure Chikungunya. Some Kashayams prescribed for this infection are Amrutarishta, MahasudarshanaChurna, PanchathikthaKashayam, SudarshanChurna, DhanvantaramGutika and AmruthotharamKashayam.
• But while consuming these Kashayams, one should be sure that it is not adulterated with steroids. Apart from Ayurvedic Treatment, Homeopathic Treatmentcan also be given to speed up the recovery process.

Chikungunya is fatal but it can be treated easily and it hardly has any long-term effects. But in some cases, the joint pain can last long. In such cases, the patient should take care of their joints by doing mild joint exercises and walking at a mild pace for 10-20 minutes.

Also, the patient should be ready to have joint pains and discomfort for weeks after the virus leaves the body as an aftermath of the disease.