Myths about Chikungunya

Sunday, 2/10/2016

Introduction

The need to understand Chikungunya

The India’s capital is battling with Chikungunya over the past few months. More than 30 people have died and more than 3000 people are affected by Chikungunya, according to reports. In a crucial time like this, the need of the hour is to understand this deadly disease but before even understanding what Chikungunya is, one should understand what Chikungunya isn’t and should be aware about the myths doing rounds these days.


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What not to believe about Chikungunya

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. Coming to the myths about Chikungunya, we usually fall for:

● DENGUE AND CHIKUNGUNYA ARE THE SAME THING-

Though dengue is caused by the bite of same mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes Aegypti genus and some of the common symptoms of dengue and chikungunya are joint pain, sore muscle, rashes and fever but chikungunya is infected by a different virus. While chikungunya is not a life threatening disease in most of the cases, dengue can be life threatening for some patients who are recovering.

● APPLYING COCONUT OIL DOES HELP-

A rumour has been doing the rounds on internet these days and that is, chikungunya and dengue mosquitoes can’t fly above the knees, hence applying coconut oil to your knees will help you in this situation. This is not true; mosquitoes can fly anywhere and can bite at any part of the body.

● HAVING PAPAYA IS HELPFUL DURING CHIKUNGUNYA-

Though papaya has its own nutrition value but a common believe is eating papaya during chikungunya, increases the blood platelets. Keeping the count of blood platelet during dengue and chikungunya is vital but there is no scientific prove that papaya can increase the blood platelets count.

● THERE IS A PARTICULAR TREATMENT FOR CHIKUNGUNYA-

This might be a little surprising but there is no definite cure for chikungunya. The best thing one can do, when diagnosed with chikungunya is to have maximum fluids and fever reducing medicines (paracetamol).

●CHIKUNGUNYA TRANSFERS FROM HUMAN TO HUMAN-

Only in rare cases like, mother to babies, there is a chance of the disease getting transmitted to the new born. Apart from that, there is a rare chance of transferring of this disease from one person to another.

●UNITED STATES IS FREE FROM CHIKUNGUNYA-

Though we love to believe that one of the most developed nation in the world is free from this mosquito borne disease but in reality, even the United States of America has to deal with it.

●ONLY ASIA AND AFRICA ARE DEALING WITH CHIKUNGUNYA-

Just like the last one, this is not true. Chikungunya is a worldwide threat and cases of chikungunya have been recorded everywhere and just not in Africa and Asia. However, a large part of Asia and Africa are affected by it and that’s the reason people believe in this myth. More than 110 nations of the world are effected by this.


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● CHIKUNGUNYA IS RELATED TO CHICKENS-

Though this one is rather funny but a common believe due to the pronunciation of the virus and the disease, some people believe, chikungunya is related to chickens but that’s just not true and it is nowhere remotely related to chickens.

● MOSQUITOES ARE ATTRACTED TO CERTAIN BLOOD TYPES OF COLOURS-

This one is known to most of the people out there and most of them actually believe this is true. Mosquitoes doesn’t bite people according to their blood type or skin
colour, be it dengue mosquito or chikungunya.

●NOT GOING NEAR FOOD OR KITCHEN DURING THE EXPOSURE OF THE DISEASE-

This is one of the extremely obnoxious myths about chikungunya that needs to be changed. A probable scientific reason to this can be, as the body remains weak during the time of chickungunya so the patient is advised to take rest rather than roaming here and there.
This disease is spreading at a rapid speed and if not anything then everyone should be aware of
it and the ways to prevent it to be on the safer side.