Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chikungunya

Chikungunya disease is a mosquito-borne virus it was first reported in Tanzania Africa around 1952 and since then has spread in Asia, Europe and United States, infecting millions of people. “Chikungunya is derived from from East African dialect that simply means “to be contorted,”. This is because of the lying curved posture of patients that is experiencing severe joint pain.

Symptoms

Some patients may fully recover after a few days or weeks but, there are some cases that joint pain or arthritis may re-occur or persist for several months, or even years.

The incubation period of chikungunya disease ranges from one to twelve days, usually two to three.

Its symptoms includes:

  • Fever up to 40 °C (104 °F)
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Maculopapular rash of the trunk and occasionally the limbs
  • Arthritis affecting multiple joints 
  • Headache
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Slight photophobia
  • Partial loss of taste 

Causes

Just like dengue, the chikungunya virus was caused primarily by Aedes aegypti, the daytime-biting mosquito and by Aedes albopictus, a species of mosquito that bites mostly at nighttime.

Prevention and Remedies 

Currently there is no vaccine to protect against Chikungunya virus. The most effective means of prevention is avoiding contact with the disease-carrying mosquitoes.

You can prevent mosquito bite by using insect repellents with substances such as:

  • DEET or NNDB PMD or IR3535
  • Icaridin (also known as picaridin and KBR3023) 
  • Wearing long sleeves and trousers or pants

In addition, garments can be treated with pyrethroids, an insecticide that often has repellent properties, mosquito coils. Having screens on windows and doors will also help in combating mosquitoes to enter the house.

Chikungunya treatment is symptomatic and can include:

  • Adequate rest 
  • Fluid intake 
  • Medicines- to relieve symptoms of fever and aching such as , Naproxen, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or paracetamol but, AVOID Aspirin

Infected persons must be protected from further mosquito exposure by staying indoors in areas with screens and or inside mosquito nets especially during the first few days of the illness so they can not contribute to the transmission of the virus to other people.


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