Chikungunya is fever that spreads by the bite of infected mosquitoes. It is similar to dengue fever and is mainly characterised by rashes, severe and persistent joint pain and fever. The good news is that it is a non-fatal virus illness. Here are some facts about chickungunya.
It is a proven fact that Chikungunya is caused by the Arbovirus infection (CHIKV) that is classified in the family of Togaviridae. The infection is carried by mosquitoes. In some of the recent cases a mosquito species named Aedes albopictus is found to be the cause of infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Chikungunya
As a matter of fact, the main symptoms of chikungunya include fever, headache, body and joint pain, nausea and vomiting accompanied by general uneasiness. Sometimes a person infected with chikungunya can be completely asymptomatic, especially the children. Once infected, the fever may last from days to several weeks.
Risk of chikungunya
Anyone who is bitten by a mosquito with Arbovirus infection is at high risk of getting chikungunya fever. Since chikungunya virus is predominantly found in tropical areas , the people of Asian countries are at higher risk.
How does chikungunya spread?
Chikunguniya spreads with the bite of Aedes mosquito. An infected person cannot spread the infection but the disease is transmitted only when a mosquito bites an infected person and then someone else.
Incubation Period of chikungunya
Time period between infected mosquito bite and onset of chikungunya symptoms, generally ranges from 1 to 12 days. But in some cases symptoms appear within 2 to 3 days only. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite only in the day time.
Clinical appearance of dengue and chikungunya are similar, so it is essential to get a laboratory test done for diagnosing chikungunya. Chikungunya is diagnosed by a blood test named Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
Prevention from chikungunya fever
The best you can do to prevent from chikungunya fever is, do not get bitten by the mosquitoes. Try to get rid of fully grown mosquitoes and larvae in their breeding grounds itself. If you still notice any symptoms similar to chikungunya, immediately get tested and take plenty of rest. Infected individuals must be isolated from mosquitoes for avoiding transmission of infection to others.
Treatment for chikungunya
There is no specific treatment for chikungunya but supportive therapies such as administration of non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs is seen to help in easing the symptoms.
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