Chikungunya

Below you will find more information about Chikungunya from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Chikungunya it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Chikungunya and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Chikungunya comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Chikungunya is a rare viral fever spread by mosquitoes that contain an alphavirus. Its name comes from a Makonde word that literally means 'that which bends up', as the arthritic symptoms of the disease result to a stooped posture on the patient. It was first discovered in 1955 after 1952 outbreak along the Makonde Plateau, which is located in between Tanganyika and Mozambique.

Treatment

There is no exact cure for Chikungunya, as well as no vaccine available. Doctors are currently studying more on the effects of the drug Chloroquine as a potential cure for the symptoms linked with the disease. Studies have shown that aspirin does not relieve the arthitic pains experienced by the patients, but chloroquine phosphate has shown good results. Those infected with the disease should stay away from mosquitoes, and should best remain under a mosquito net during the onset of the illness. Mild exercise on the infected joints is also recommended, but do not overdo the workout as it can cause further bone complications. In some countries affected by the disease, patients concoct honey and lime in order to relieve themselves of the pain brought by Chikungunya, while others consume low dosages of tumeric.

Symptoms and Signs

The first signs of Chikungunya are fever rising up to 39░C, painful arthritis in multiple joints and petechial or maculopapular rashes on the trunk and limbs. Headache, conjunctival injection and mild photophobia are also experienced. After a couple of days, the fever drops abruptly but the other symptoms become excruciatingly debilitating and would last for around 5 to 7 days. Patients however recover from the disease after 5 to 15 days or up to 2.5 months depending on their age. Older patients tend to take longer recovery than the younger ones. Dermatological and other problems also occur when one suffers from Chikungunya, and among these include: nasal blotchy erythema freckle-like spots on the face lichenoid eruption on photodistributed areas multiple aphthous-like ulcers in the crotum and axilla vesiculobullous lesions subungual hemorrhage cephalgia lumbago vomiting haemetemesis and epistaxis

Prevention

Probably the best way to prevent the onset of Chikungunya is to keep away from disease-carrying mosquitoes. Use insect repellents with DEET, icaridin, PMD or IR3535. It is recommended to wear long sleeved shirts and pants in order not to be bitten by mosquitoes. Secure windows with screens and use mosquito coils as they prevent mosquitoes from entering the house at certain levels.

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