Chikungunya Precautions: while Visiting a Forest
Chikungunya fever is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito that transfers the Chikungunya virus into your body. It is mostly found in African and Asian continents. Hunters of these continents should take proper precautions, as this disease has been a cause of several epidemics. The mosquito Aedes aegypti, that carries this virus, is an aggressive daytime biter that is attracted towards human blood. Chikungunya virus has been highly reported in Africa, Asia and some parts of Europe.
Hunting is a profession that requires a person to spend a lot of their time in the forests. Monkeys and other wild animals are known to be the reservoirs to this virus. Till date, Chikungunya infection has not been reported in dogs. There are several forest-dwelling mosquitoes that are known to be infected with the Chikungunya virus. Hence, while in the forests, hunters need to be very careful of the Chikungunya virus so they can protect themselves and avoid getting bitten by the Chikungunya spreading mosquitoes that can infect them with the virus.
1. Symptoms of Chikungunya
Rarely any human can have Chikungunya without any symptoms. The main symptom of the disease is severe pain in the joints. As the Chikungunya virus progresses in the human body, it leads to an increase in the joint pain and can also lead to other discomforts like fever, headache, rash, vomiting and fatigue. A case of Acute Chikungunya can last from a few days to a few weeks. However, in some cases, it can hold up to a much longer time.
2. Precautions to be taken in a forest
Although there is nothing specific that can be done to prevent Chikungunya, there are certain precautions that you can take to minimise the risk of getting infected with the Chikungunya virus.
• As stated before, this mosquito, which is also known as the Asian tiger, is an aggressive daytime biter. One should be very careful of this while living in tropical regions.
• People who are travelling in South should keep their skin covered at all times, mainly the limbs.
• It is safer near the beach as this mosquito stays away from the sunlight and breeds in swampy areas.
• These mosquitos are the same that cause Dengue as well. So, one should stay away from the areas with standing water as these mosquitoes are most commonly found near fresh standing water bodies.
• It is recommended to wear loose-fitting clothes as they prevent mosquitoes from reaching the skin and also help you retain lesser heat.
• It is said that the mosquitoes get attracted to different colours and movements. So, while in a forest, it is recommended to wear clothes that blend in with the background.
• Avoid using fragrant soaps, colognes, lotions, deodorants etc. whose smell attracts the mosquitoes. Consider wearing good mosquito repellent scents instead.
3. DRESSING SUGGESTIONS
• Wear a scarf to cover back of neck.
• Keep body covered from all areas.
• Wear gloves and tie over shirt.
• Shove the pant inside the band of your socks to avoid ankle exposure.
• Have a net-hat on your face.
• Thicker fabrics are advised.
Basically, try to hide every inch rather cm of your skin from exposure.
4. Treatments for Chikungunya
The disease is not a life-threatening one if you follow what your doctor has suggested you. Other than that, you can use supportive cares, such as pain relievers and extra fluids. You should also pay attention to your diet, which definitely is a major factor in deciding how long it’s going to take you to get rid of the disease.