Chikungunya fever, or chikungunya as it is also known, is a viral disease of African origin that is transmitted by the bite of the infected mosquito Aedes Aegypti, the culprit also the transmission of dengue. This condition was discovered in Tanzania in 1952, and its strange name corresponds to a word from the Kimakonde tribe that means “to bend,” a symptom typical of those who suffer from this disease, who end up bending due to joint pain. This condition is present in the African continent and America, Europe, and Asia, so knowing its signs and prognosis is vital. At FastlyHealwe explain the symptoms, contagion, and treatment of chikungunya and the forecast of this condition.
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Chikungunya is transmitted by the infected bite of the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, although transmission cases have been observed in which the culprit is the Aedes Albopictus mosquito. Healthy mosquitoes become infected when they bite someone who has contracted the virus; despite being immune to this condition, the same mosquito can infect several people, especially if they are in the same environment.
Once an infected mosquito bites us, it usually takes between 4 and 8 days for the first symptoms to appear, although some patients have manifested the signs of the disease up to 12 days after the bite.
Chikungunya produces a picture of high fever and general malaise that is very annoying for the patient. The main symptoms of this condition are:
- Sudden onset of high fever over 39 ºC.
- Sharp joint pain is because the virus causes inflammation of the joints, so many patients bend over to try to mitigate the discomfort.
- Muscle pain.
- Tiredness and fatigue
- The appearance of skin rashes.
At first, the symptoms can be very similar to those of classic dengue or influenza. However, the appearance of joint pain is key to differentiating the level of symptoms between both diseases. It is essential that at the first symptoms you go to a health care center, a simple blood test can confirm the presence of the virus in the body.
In some patients, the onset of symptoms is weak and causes little discomfort, while others manifest a more intense picture.
As with dengue, chikungunya is a condition that does not usually have treatment. The virus disappears from the body after seven days, and the patient begins to regain strength and feel much better. However, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to control fever and pain relievers to reduce joint pain.
It is also essential to follow some recommendations to guarantee a speedy recovery:
- It is essential to rest and rest; the picture of fever, joint pain, and the general fatigue produced by this condition deserve a good rest for adequate recovery.
- Staying hydrated is important since a high fever can increase dehydration. In addition to drinking water frequently in small sips, the intake of isotonic drinks and chicken or vegetable broths is recommended, providing the necessary nutrients for a proper recovery.
- Although you are likely to lose appetite, eating a light or bland diet is essential to ensure rapid improvement. Foods such as broths, soups or vegetable creams, natural juices, white bread, light cheese, or sausages such as turkey or chicken breast can be well tolerated by the patient.
How dangerous is chikungunya?
In general terms, chikungunya is a virus that is not dangerous; most patients recover after a week of suffering from this condition. However, it is essential to clarify that joint pain and inflammation can last for months once the state has disappeared, generating persistent discomfort in certain patients.
In particular, in cases in which there is a weakened or very fragile immune system, the patient may not be able to recover from the disease and die. Although this is rare, there have been cases in the elderly, babies, and cancer patients with conditions that depress the immune system, such as HIV or chronic diseases.
Keys to prevent chikungunya
If you live in an area where outbreaks of this condition have occurred, it is necessary to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes as much as possible to ensure the well-being of all. Some of the primary keys to preventing chikungunya are:
- Avoid stagnant waters that usually form in puddles, unused wells, flowerpots, birdbaths, and all kinds of waste or objects outdoors. This is the perfect environment for the proliferation of this type of mosquito, so it is recommended to empty them daily.
- Wear appropriate clothing to prevent mosquito bites. Opt for clothes in dark tones that cover the body well.
- Use the repellent spray to spray your body or clothing and reduce the possibility of bites, and repellents for the home are also a good alternative. You can find them in vaporizers, electric, or the classic insecticide spirals.
- Install mosquito nets on the doors and windows of the house.
- In the case of sleeping outside or not being able to install mosquito nets on doors and windows, it is advisable to sleep with a mosquito net to avoid bites.
- If you travel to an endemic area, do not forget to wear suitable clothing and repellants.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.