Chikungunya is a viral infection transmitted by a mosquito bite. The symptoms of this disease are rarely fatal, but can be severe, long-lasting and debilitating. Fever and joint pain are two main problems faced by the patient and can cause significant discomfort in the long run.
Chikungunya occurs after a bite from an infected mosquito. Although not contagious, it can spread through contact with an infected individuals blood. It is a problem, especially in the tropical areas of the world.
Common symptoms of Chikungunya are:
- Fever lasting few days
- Joint pain lasting weeks to months
- Muscle pain
- Joint swelling and discomfort
Uveitis, nephritis, myocarditis, hepatitis are a few of the complications that can arise after Chikungunya. It is important to carefully monitor for these complications as they may prove to be much more fatal than the initial presentation.
After history, clinical examination, and laboratory tests have ruled out other problems; chikungunya can be diagnosed on a blood test.
Prevention of mosquito bites appears to be the most effective way to avoid this disease. Besides getting rest and consuming plenty of fluids, easily available painkillers such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen may prove helpful. Physiotherapy may also cause improvement in the joints.