Any person with sudden onset of high temperature that is fever of 40 degree centigrade or 104 degree Fahrenheit, along with any of the following symptoms: Joint pain (lower back, ankle, knees, wrists, Fingers or Toes), Joint swelling, Rash, Headache, Muscle pain, Nausea, Fatigue can be suffering from Chikungunya. Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.The incidence of Chikungunya has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. The actual numbers of Chikungunya cases are underreported and many cases are misclassified. Chikungunya has been identified in over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In India, based on the data of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), the number of cases reported in 2013 was about 18 639 for Chikungunya.
Chikungunya is a viral disease (genus Alphavirus) which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes – including Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The virus remains in the human system for 5-7 days and mosquitoes feeding on an infected person during this period can also become infected. Symptoms appear between 4 and 7 days after the patient has been bitten by the infected mosquito.
Whatever the status of symptoms, it is always necessary to consult qualified health care professional for management.Home care for Chikungunya fever is simply supportive care. The World Health Organisation recommends that one start home care treatment by resting. This will provide relief and time for body to recover. Rest should be in an environment that is not damp or too hot, which could aggravate your joint symptoms. Application of cold pack to reduce pain and inflammation. Exercise in consultation with physiotherapist. It might be helpful to exercise in the morning, when joints may be the stiffest. Some examples of exercises are: Siting on a chair – Extend one leg parallel to the floor and hold for 10 seconds before lowering the leg with the sole flat on the floor. The same should be done with the other leg. The exercise needs to be repeated several times a day, with two to three sets of 10 repetitions per leg. Another example of exercise is: Turning to side – Raising one leg upwards for a second before bringing it down atop other leg. This needs to be repeated 10 times. Turning to the alternate side the same needs to be repeated. The exercise can be repeated several times in a day. Application of mineral oils, moisturising creams or calamine lotion to reduce scaling, dryness or an itchy rash.
There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using antipyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. Management of Chikungunya at the health care facility consists of any or all of the listed points (ONE) presumptive diagnosis of Chikungunya based on symptoms and history of mosquito bites; (TWO) evaluation through complete blood test (CBC). Samples of blood collected during the first week after the onset of symptoms to be evaluated by serological and virological methods (RT-PCR). (THREE) Supportive treatment is given including hydration and pain control.
Prevention of Chikungunya involves protecting yourself against mosquito bites. Prevention and control also relies heavily on reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled container habitats that support breeding of the mosquitoes. This requires mobilization of affected communities. During outbreaks, insecticides may be sprayed to kill flying mosquitoes, applied to surfaces in and around containers where the mosquitoes land, and used to treat water in containers to kill the immature larvae. For protection during outbreaks of chikungunya, clothing which minimizes skin exposure to the day-biting vectors is advised. Repellents can be applied to exposed skin or to clothing in strict accordance with product label instructions. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets afford good protection for those who sleep during the day (e.g. infants, the bedridden and night-shift workers). Where indoor biting occurs, household insecticide aerosol products, mosquito coils or other insecticide vaporizers may also reduce biting activity. Household fixtures such as window and door screens and air-conditioning can also reduce biting. There is no vaccine for Chikungunya. Elimination of pathogen reservoir where the bacteria, viruses and parasites breed and multiply, educating people and health workers on early identification and faster management as we are trying through this video series will also probably help in the prevention of Chikungunya.
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