Chikungunya- The beginning of a deadly epidemic
1. What to have during Chikungunya?
2. Do we really understand the threat named Chikungunya?
3. From Indian cricket team to the country’s capital- How Chikungunya is spreading terror everywhere
It’s ironic how even in 21st century we have to deal with viruses like Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika. If you give it a thought then you may realize, how incredibly just one mosquito is responsible for the spread of different deadly viral diseases to human beings, yet this mosquito has been allowed to infest densely populated urban centres. From the United States to Asia, from the Indian cricket team to a large part of Delhi, almost everyone is either affected by it or they know someone who is affected by the same. The fact chikungunya isn’t a temporary threat, it is a worldwide problem and it’s time that we take serious measures against it.
So, here comes the important question. What exactly is Chikungunya and how do we treat it? Chikungunya is an infection caused by the virus which goes by the same name. The virus is passed to human by two species of mosquitoes of different genus and they are Aedes and Aedes aegypti, which is commonly known as yellow fever mosquito. Symptoms of Chikungunya include sudden onset of fever for two to four days. The fever generally lasts from two to seven days. Joint pain is also common during the exposure which lasts typically from weeks to months. Though the risk of dying is less in cases like this but according to reports, more than 35 people have lost their lives in 2016 in Delhi. Over 3000 people have been affected by it and the need of the hour is to take care of the same. The best way to prevent this is overall mosquito control, proper sanitisation and also ensuring proper drainage as those places are the ones where mosquitoes breed. Fogging and mosquito repellents are also helpful in these cases.
A common problem that most of the people face during Chikungunya is the problem of having food. What to eat and what not to eat? There are a bunch of questions while considering the same. The other day, I was checking this piece on quora where someone asked “What should we eat and do during Chikungunya?” I was amused to see so many replies. Some home remedies, some ayurvedic medicines and some were even advising obnoxious things like not to touch anything or not to consume water. This is pretty ironic, how we depend on the internet for everything. Even a ten year old knows that staying hydrated during these conditions is one of the primary things we are supposed to do.
So what exactly should we consume while suffering from this deadly disease? Well, to start with, Chikungunya generally causes muscle pain and to soothe that, green tea is one of the best things to have during this period as it relaxes the muscles. Coming to the food part, green and leafy vegetables is one of the must have during this time. In fruits, apples, guavas, kiwis, peas, plantains, tomatoes can be consumed as they are rich in vitamin C and E. For the ones who doesn’t know, vitamin C and vitamin E helps in healing wounds, formation of bones and muscles along with giving the benefit of flawless skin and good health. Soups and broths are excellent while recovering from Chikungunya. However, heavy soups or curries should be avoided and only soups made of beans, lean meat, fish or tomato, which gives the body the necessary protein intake, should be consumed. Tender coconut water is also an excellent fluid that can be consumed during or after Chikungunya. Apart from this, food rich in zinc that is pomegranates, soy, and avocados can be added to the diet to prevent Chikungunya.
Remember those times as a kid, when your mother used to forcefully pop those salmon omega tablets in your mouth and used to say how it’s important for a proper diet? I for one, sure remember that. Well, turns out they were actually right about this. Omega 3 and 6 is not only helpful for a healthy diet but it reduces blood clots, allows the brain to function properly, boosts memory and also reduces chances of stroke. This is an excellent remedy to prevent Chikungunya and is consumed through supplements and food as well. Apart from that, fruits like oranges, sweet lime and papaya can not only help in destroying the virus but are also refreshing to the taste palette of the patient in times like this. There you go, now next time god forbid but if you are affected by the same or you know someone affected by it then you know exactly what to have during this time. Chikungunya is a deadly disease and it is not an unknown fact anymore. A country which can conduct the cheapest mars mission and can still be successful can also eradicate this if only everyone comes together and join hands to do so.