The human civilization has been thriving in the face of so many epidemics ranging from the plague to other deadly infectious diseases. With time, management, prevention and treatment techniques were developed to help fight the battle against these mass infections. One such infection of the present time for our nation is Chinkungunya. Chikungunya is caused by a mosquito bred virus, known commonly as the chikungunya virus. This infection is a very serious one and can heavily compromise the body if not treated properly. Outbreaks of the chikungunya virus are not only specific to the Indian subcontinent ,but have also been reported in parts of Africa, Australia and other areas of Southeast Asia. It is important to educate oneself of the causes, symptoms ,treatment and prevention of chikungunya in light of the severity of the infection.
Causes of Chikungunya:
Chikungunya is principally caused by a mosquito bite, of the Aedes family. It has since its inception mutated to affect mosquitoes of another genus caller A. Albopictus as well. These mosquitoes when they are infected with this virus transmit it through to the blood stream of humans. It is also possible for the virus to be transmitted through organ donation or vertically, that is from a pregnant mother to the child in the womb.
Symptoms of Chikungunya:
It is very important to know the causes, symptoms ,treatment and prevention of Chikungunya . Chikungunya mostly results in presentation of symptoms, but a minority of victims might not experience symptoms. The symptoms develop from three to seven days from being infected with the virus. The symptoms are:
- Fever- from 102 to 104 degrees F.
- Joint stiffness and pain- usually in arms and legs.
- Development of skin rashes.
- Abdominal pain and cramps.
Treatment of Chikungunya:
While no actual and proven treatment for chikungunya has been devised as of yet, supportative care is practiced. Rather than attempting to treat the whole infection as a whole, the individual symptoms are treated. This is very tricky and has to be practiced with caution , taking care not to worsen the other symptoms further while treating one. For instance steroid free anti-inflammatory and aspirin free analgesic medicines are used to control the high fever and swelling of joints.
Prevention of Chikungunya:
Prevention is widely emphasized upon when it comes to chikungunya. The awareness of the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of Chikungunya is promoted and encouraged to make people vigil against the virus. Since no vaccination or immunization has been proven yet, these measure should be taken to prevent chikungunya:
- Clean standing water areas regularly .
- Use biological controls or insecticides to prevent breeding of the mosquitoes.
- Use of insect repellants.
- Exposing less skin to prevent mosquito bites.
- Screening doors , windows and other opening in homes.
The causes, symptoms , treatment and prevention of Chikungunya are essential to guard against the viral infection. Since no treatment or vaccination has been devised yet, prevention should be largely practiced .