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Everything You Need To Know About Mosquito Spread Chikungunya Virus

Everything you need to know about mosquito spread chikungunya virus

Chikungunya quiet literally means “that which bends up” in Makunde and is a viral infection caused due to the chikungunya virus carried by mosquitoes. Until recent years chikungunya was known to be a tropical disease most occurring in countries with tropical climates, however the notion has changed with the recent reports of occurrences in parts of Europe. Given is frequent outbreaks it is imperative to educate ourselves about it to be in a position to keep our kids safe from the disease.

As mentioned above, chikungunya virus is carried by mosquito of the Aedes genus; A. albopictus and A. Aegypti. Both these species of mosquitoes are known to bite during the day unlike mosquitoes that feed at dusk and dawn. In addition to mosquitoes even monkeys, birds, cattle and rodents are known carriers.

Given the fact that chikungunya is a viral fever, there is no vaccination available for it, leaving both kids and adults defenseless against the virus. However, once infected the body becomes immune to it reducing chances of recurrence. Given the absence of vaccinations, only safety measures can be put in place to avoid mosquito bites. Safety measures usually include destruction of breeding sites, regular use of insecticides, using various mosquito repellents etc.

In case of infection the symptoms usually occur 2 to 4 days after exposure and last for 7-10 days. The usual symptoms are fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, rashes, etc. A lot of these symptoms are similar to that of dengue and can be misdiagnosed. Clinical tests should be to confirm the infection so as to administer appropriate treatment and medication. Infants, young kids and old people are more susceptible to the infection. While chikungunya usually doesn’t result in mortality, its effects can be quiet severe and disabling.

Treatment for chikungunya again follows suit of the vaccine. There is no direct medication available for it. The course of treatment is symptomatic. Medication is administered to provide relief from the symptoms. Pain killers like paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to help cope with fever and the joint pains. Aspirin is to be avoided at all costs as it could lead to internal bleeding.

The symptoms can be severe and require hospitalization, but the cases are usually few. For most cases adequate rest, light nutritious meals, sufficient liquids for hydration and doctor prescribed medication work well enough for a full recovery in a matter of days.

The best and simplest way to avoid all the trauma is to keep the mosquito population and breeding in check by increased awareness and following up with stringent measures for the same.

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