Chikungunya viral infection: Symptoms, treatment, prevention

There is no single vaccine discovered to fight chikungunya
There is no single vaccine discovered to fight chikungunya

New Delhi : Chikungunya, though rarely fatal illness, this viral infection leads to serve long-lasting health problems. The mosquito-borne disease caused unbearable fever and joint pain which last for weeks or months. And, the terrible news is that there is no single vaccine discovered to fight chikungunya. 

Chikungunya virus is mainly transmitted by a bite from an infected female mosquito. In general, it is not considered contagious but gets transported through contact with an infected individual's blood.

Take a look at the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, complications and prevention of Chikungunya viral fever.

Symptoms of chikungunya

The symptoms of chikungunya virus are similar to those of other diseases such as dengue fever. The symptoms normally appear just a few days after a mosquito has bitten an individual. The most common symptoms are:

  • High Fever 
  • Severe joint pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Maculopapular rash in the body, conjunctivitis, nausea, and vomiting
  • Swelling around the joints 

Diagnosis of chikungunya

The only way to diagnose chikungunya is by a blood test. Only a blood test can definitively diagnose chikungunya as symptoms are not always indicates the conditions.

Treatment of chikungunya patients

The viral infection creates severe and disabling condition for sufferers. Most patients recover from the fever within a week, but the joint pain continues to persist for months. Even after a year, some patients report recurring joint pain.

Though there are no specific drugs to treat chikungunya; doctors simply advise rest and plenty of fluids. The suggested medications include naproxen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and some more pills. 

Complications in chikungunya cases

  • Inflammation of the layer in the eye between the inner retina and the outer fibrous layer 
  • Inflammation of the retina.
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle.
  • Inflammation of the liver.
  • Inflammation of the kidneys.
  • Hemorrhage 
  • Inflammation of the membranes of the brain and adjoining cerebral tissue
  • Inflammation of the spinal cord.
  • Peripheral nervous system disease characterized by muscle weakness.
  • Loss of function in the cranial nerves.

Prevention

As prevention is better than cure, people staying in mosquito prone areas should use mosquito repellent. To stop growth of mosquito colony, it is advisable to use insect repellent containing DEET. One should avoid going outdoor especially during early morning and late afternoon. Mosquito coils and insecticide vaporizers should be used at home. One should sleep under a mosquito net.