Chikungunya in Children

Friday, 23/09/2016

Chikungunya carrying mosquito is the same mosquito that causes Dengue fever as well. The female Aedes aegypti mosquito needs human blood to lay its eggs. The male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are more drawn towards flower nectar and their bites don’t transmit Dengue or Chikungunya infections.

1. How Are Children More Susceptible?
• Children love to play outdoors. But often they are susceptible to mosquito bites. Though it is common, but at times these bites can be dangerous.
• Chikungunya is one such infection that arises because of mosquito bites. Though it is not as dangerous as Dengue but some of it’s signs can be adverse.
• Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne infection caused by the Chikungunya virus. This virus is transferred by the Aedes type mosquitoes.
• In India, Chikungunya was never a bigger cause of concern than Dengue. However, in the year 2016, there has been an increase in the cases of Chikungunya.
• Chikungunya infection can not just be seen in adults but also in children.

2. Signs And Symptoms In Children
• Chikungunya signs is very much similar to that of Dengue and Malaria.
• The signs of Chikungunya includes sudden onset of fever which can be upto two to seven days.
• This can be accompanied by joint pains which can be for years. Certain other signs include headache, fatigue, eye pain, vomiting, etc.
• These are also often seen in children during viral fevers.
• Though this infection is not as dangerous as Dengue but certain signs can be for more than a week.

3. What To Do When Your Child Has Chikungunya
• Though there is no proper medication for Chikungunya, certain measures can surely help.
• The child need proper relaxation to increase energy.
• Also, the child needs to drink loads of fluids and water to take care of dehydration.
• For fever during Chikungunya, parcemtamol can be given to the child.
• The child should be away from the outdoors during daytime.
• He should be clothed full.
• It is important to keep the environment clean.
• Water and garbage should be cleaned so as to not allow the mosquitoes from breeding.

4. Protecting your child from Dengue

• As there are no vaccines for the Chikungunya infection the best way to protect your children from this painful disease is by protecting them from mosquito bites. Here are some tips for that:
• Make your children wear clothes that minimises the skin exposure and cover their arms and legs especially.
• Dress your children in light colour clothing as mosquitoes are more attracted towards dark colours.
• Make your children wear herbal mosquito sprays or oil-based creams that help drive mosquitoes away.
• For infants and toddlers, use mosquito nets while they’re asleep.
• If you haven’t already, make sure to install mosquito meshes on your windows. Staying in a properly try air conditioned place also helps with keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Chikungunya cases have been spiraling in the recent times. This has now become a global cause of concern due to increase in the breeding of mosquitoes. Thus it is important to take certain measures to ensure that such infections can be taken care of well. As established earlier, Chikungunya is caused by the bite of the female Aedes mosquito. Hence, it is important for us to avoid mosquito bites as much as we can. Children are more at risk of getting infected with diseases like Chikungunya as they often spend a lot of time outdoors. Hence, it becomes really important for us to know about the symptoms and treatment for Chikungunya given to children.