Chikungunya Virus: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes and Treatment
Chikungunya is a viral infection and a mosquito-borne disease that may affect anyone including children. Often confused with dengue, Chikungunya affects babies the most and is more dangerous because it is difficult to detect. Joint pain caused by the Chikungunya virus usually lasts between one to two weeks. The mosquitoes involved in the spreading of this disease are the Aedes Agypti and Aedes Albopictus. These two species of mosquitoes also contribute to the spread of dengue.
Symptoms appear between 2 and 12 days after the patient has been bitten by the infected mosquito and these include:
- High fever (40°C/ 104°F)
- Joint pain (lower back, ankle, knees, wrists or phalanges)
- Joint swelling
- Muscle pain
- Chikungunya can be detected using serological tests. Recovery from an infection will confer life-long immunity.
- The symptoms of chikungunya are similar to those of dengue and Zika, diseases spread by the same mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya.
- See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where chikungunya is found.
- If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
- Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for chikungunya or other similar viruses like dengue and Zika.
Treating Chikungunya in Kids
- The best way to treat Chikungunya in kids is by getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, drinking fluids, spending time indoors and relaxing.
- Chikungunya patients are recommended to get plenty of rest. Complete bed rest for at least 7 days is advised to a chikungunya patient even after the body has come to its normal temperature.
- Acetaminophen drug can be used to relieve pain and fever. Taking Acetaminophen will help ease the symptoms and relives the patient from joint pain. Do not rely on aspirin or any other anti-steroidal drugs as they do not give proper results.
- Eating a healthy diet which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and various nutrients can help kids recover from Chikungunya faster.
- Making kids drink Ginger tea and ensuring they get adequate sleep also facilitates recovery from Chikungunya.
Top 10 Home Remedies For Chikungunya
- Papaya Leaves
- Garlic Paste
- Chili Peppers
- Cold Compress
- Grapes With Cow’s Milk
- Tulsi (Basil) Leaves
- Coconut Water
Chikungunya Prevention and Control
Here are some of the preventive measures that you should take against chikungunya:
- Emptying water from containers, such as the saucers under potted plants, vases, buckets, and rain gutters
- Covering water containers that cannot be emptied, such as tanks or reservoirs that provide household water
- Getting rid of old tires that may be left outside
- Keeping garbage in closed plastic bags and in closed containers
- Minimizes skin exposure
- Using insect repellents on skin or clothing
- Making sure indoor spaces have adequate screens to keep mosquitoes out
Using insecticide-treated mosquito nets over your bed if you sleep in the daytime
- Wearing mosquito netting over your face and neck, in addition to using gloves or repellents, if you spend a lot of time outdoors in areas with mosquitoes