Chikungunya (viral infection)


General or Other | General Practice | Chikungunya (viral infection) (Disease)


Description

Chikungunya virus, translated that which bends up is an insect-borne virus, of Alphavirus genus, which is transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoes virus-carrying. It is common in Africa and Asia.

Symptoms of Chikungunya includes fever, debilitating arthralgia known as joint pain, swelling of joints, stiffness of joints, muscular pain called myalgia, headache, redness in eye and difficulty in looking at light, fatigue or weakness, nausea, vomiting and rash on limbs and trunks. In some infections, no symptoms are seen and this behavior is seen predominantly in children. Acute chikungunya fever typically lasts a few days to a couple of weeks, but some patients have prolonged fatigue lasting several weeks.

Additionally, some patients have reported incapacitating joint pain, or arthritis which may last for weeks or months. Other symptoms such as namely joint pain, intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration also last for a variable period.

Causes and Risk factors

The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Risk factors for Chikungunya disease include: elderly, homeless, travel to undeveloped country. Any condition that causes a weakening of the immune system such as: diabetes, organ transplant, chemotherapy, AIDS.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Chikungunya is diagnosed by ELISA blood test. The most effective means of prevention are protection against contact with the disease-carrying mosquitoes and mosquito control such as mosquito repellent on exposed skin, long sleeves shirts and pants, secure screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

There are no specific treatments for chikungunya, and no vaccine is currently available....