SYMPTOMS OF MALARIA AND CHIKUNGUNYA: KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
All of us enjoy the rain, especially kids. From getting drenched in a downpour to jumping in and out of mud puddles, kids do it all. Mothers don’t always share the joy because they naturally worry about their kids’ health. If you’re a mother, we’re sure you do too.
Malaria and chikungunya are two diseases common during the rains. Both are transmitted by mosquitoes and show similar symptoms, so it can be a little tricky to tell the two apart. But understanding the differences can help you identify them correctly in your children and promote early intervention.
Here are some common symptoms of malaria and chikungunya and how they differ:
Symptoms of malaria
Symptoms can present themselves between 10 and 28 days after a person is infected. Some start showing symptoms as early as 7 days after being infected.
Fever is a common symptom for both diseases, but if your child is suffering from malaria, the fever will occur in cycles. They may develop a fever and sweat profusely, followed by intense shivering and then fever again. A cycle of sweating and chills is a clear-cut indication of malaria. This symptom usually lasts for 6-12 hours.
Jaundice is another symptom of malaria. Due to the loss of red blood cells, the eyes and skin of some children turn yellow, indicative of jaundice.
Anaemia is another symptom. The malarial parasite infects the red blood cells, which rupture at the end of the infection cycle. This is why patients suffering from malaria are often anaemic.
Nausea and abdominal pain are other symptoms. In rare cases, these may be followed by diarrhea and bloody stools.
However, since malaria is an entirely treatable disease, you need not worry as long as your child is getting proper medical attention.
Symptoms of chikungunya
Symptoms of chikungunya can present themselves anytime between 4 and 7 days after a person is infected.
Chronic joint and muscle pain, and inflammation are distinct symptoms of chikungunya. Swelling may be present around the hands and feet. If your child is experiencing intense joint pain, especially in the mornings, it could indicate chikungunya.
Rash on the skin is another symptom of chikungunya. If your child has developed a rash on the face, torso, limbs, palms, or feet, it’s time for further tests.
Red eyes are another common symptom. If your child finds it difficult to look at a source of light or has developed conjunctivitis, you may want to get them tested.
The rains are a favorable time for mosquitoes to breed. You may not know it, but dangerous mosquitoes hide in corner of your home, hence prevention is always better than cure. In the bid to keep mosquitoes at bay, spray Kala HIT daily in corners of your home to kill hidden mosquitoes.
However, should your baby show any such symptoms, consulting a doctor is a must. If diagnosed quickly, the right medication will relieve the symptoms and your child should bounce back in no time.