Chikungunya claims its first victim in delhi: can dengue be far behind
- Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by aedes mosquitoes (same vector causing Dengue) that causes sudden onset of fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms may include fatigue, muscle pain, headache and rash. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications as well as gastrointestinal complaints have been reported. Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration and at times lasting weeks or months. Signs and symptoms usually appear two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.
- During first week the virus may be isolated from the blood by virological methods like RT-PCR. Serological tests - by ELISA, may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibody levels are highest 3 to 5 weeks after the onset of illness and persist for about 2 months.
- No vaccine exists to prevent chikungunya, and there's no effective antiviral treatment. The disease runs a limited course and is rarely fatal. However, the virus sometimes causes severe complications, mostly in older adults
- Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms with rest, fluids and medications — such as paracetamol (Crocin) and ibuprofen (Brufen) — to relieve joint pain and fever.
- People infected once are likely to be protected from future infections.
- The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya.