Chikungunya - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Chikungunya is a viral disease caused by the Chikungunya virus that is transmitted through mosquitoes. It causes sudden onset of fever along with joint pain. Until now, there is no vaccine for it and no certain antiviral treatment. However, rarely does it causes any serious complications. The healthcare providers may give you drugs for symptomatic relief. 


Symptoms 


Chikungunya most commonly causes sudden onset of fever and joint pain. The symptoms occur within two to seven days of a mosquito bite. Other signs and symptoms of chikungunya may include;


  • Fatigue 

  • Muscle pain 

  • Rash 

  • Headache



Treatment 


Until now, there is no drug that works against chikungunya. The healthcare providers will prescribe symptomatic treatment. For fever, body aches, and muscle pain, they may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or paracetamol. 


Prevention 


If you are traveling to areas where chikungunya is prevalent you should protect yourself against mosquito bites. 



Prevention from a mosquito bite:

The following strategies may help in protecting you from mosquito bite:


Removing stagnant water: Mosquitoes may lay their eggs in clean and stagnant water. Therefore, it is important to remove items where water is staying such as vases, buckets, pools, etc. 


Using larvicides: In sources of stagnant water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be removed or covered, larvicide can be used to kill mosquito larvae.


Using insecticides: to kill adult mosquitoes, you can spray an insecticide in and out of your home. Mosquitoes like to reside in dark and humid places such as behind the cupboard or under the sink. Make sure to spray a mosquito killer in dark areas where mosquitoes can hide.


Preventing mosquitoes from getting in: Make sure the windows of your house are closed, and there is proper netting to avoid entry of any mosquitoes in your house. Make sure there are no holes in the doors and windows from which mosquitoes can enter.


Wearing full clothing: when going outdoors, it is important to cover yourself properly. Wear long sleeves and tuck your pant in your socks to avoid any mosquito bites.


Apply a mosquito repellent: When going outdoors, apply a mosquito repellent lotion to keep mosquitoes away.


Outlook 


In most cases, the symptoms of chikungunya resolve in 3 to 10 days. Rarely it causes any life-threatening complications. For some people, joint pain may last for a long time- for months or even years. In the elderly population, it can cause bothersome symptoms. People who are already infected may remain protected against it in the future. 



Conclusion 


Chikungunya is a viral disease that causes sudden onset of fever and joints pain. It is transmitted through a mosquito. Therefore to protect from it, you must protect yourself from a mosquito bite. 


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