Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chikungunya Fever; The Symtoms and Treatments of Chikungunya Fever

     Chikungunya, a weird name to our ears when we first hear about it, isn't it? Well, Chikingunya is actually a kind of disease which is caused by mosquito's bite. This is because the mosquito transfers the disease or virus from the other people who has suffered from the disease who's bitten before. Chikungunya fever needs special treatment rather than some other common fevers. To be able to treat the victims appropriately, it's better to know the symtoms of Chikungunya fever
so that later on there will no be miss-identification of the fever.
    Before going further, what makes me interested writing this piece of writing about Chikungunya fever is because I suffered from Chikungunya a few days ago(lab test revealed that the virus had gone after the doctor's injection). I had just arrived home from having some exercises in a Futsal court when at all of sudden I felt cold on my body. Though, my body was actually warm at that time. Decided to sleep, the tempereature was rising when I woke up.I then managed to see the doctor to see what was really going on with my body. After being examined, the doctor said that I was suffering from Chikungunya(no lab test done, doctor just examined from the symtoms on me. Given an injection and some medicine, my temperature kept going up, especially in the evening. I could not really remember the temperature was. 
     The next day, I felt like I had no enough power to just even walk. I felt so tired, my hinge/joint didn't work so well. To make sure whether i was really suffering from Chikungunya fever, I managed to go to the hospital and had a medical lab test. To make it short, the result said negative. I didn't understand, but I think the Chikungunya had gone after the first injection and treatment from the first doctor.
     To get more knowledge about Chikungunya fever, I tried to find and read more by surfing in the internet. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an alphavirus of the family Togaviridae. The name ‘chikungunya’ derives from a root verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning "to become contorted" and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.

The Symtoms of Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually ends within a few days or weeks. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death. Often symptoms in infected individuals are mild and the infection may go unrecognized, or be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue occurs.

Transmission

The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Most commonly, the mosquitoes involved are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, two species which can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue. These mosquitoes can be found biting throughout daylight hours, although there may be peaks of activity in the early morning and late afternoon. Both species are found biting outdoors, but Ae. aegypti will also readily feed indoors.
After the bite of an infected mosquito, onset of illness occurs usually between four and eight days but can range from two to 12 days.

Diagnosis

Several methods can be used for diagnosis. Serological tests, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibody levels are highest three to five weeks after the onset of illness and persist for about two months. The virus may be isolated from the blood during the first few days of infection. Various reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) methods are available but are of variable sensitivity. Some are suited to clinical diagnosis. RT–PCR products from clinical samples may also be used for genotyping of the virus, allowing comparisons with virus samples from various geographical sources.

Treatment

There are no specific drugs to cure the disease. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain. There is no commercial chikungunya vaccine.

Prevention and control

The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya as well as for other diseases that these species transmit. Prevention and control relies heavily on reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled container habitats that support breeding of the mosquitoes. This requires mobilization of affected communities. During outbreaks, insecticides may be sprayed to kill flying mosquitoes, applied to surfaces in and around containers where the mosquitoes land, and used to treat water in containers to kill the immature larvae.
For protection during outbreaks of chikungunya, clothing which minimizes skin exposure to the day-biting vectors is advised. Repellents can be applied to exposed skin or to clothing in strict accordance with product label instructions. Repellents should contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), IR3535 (3-[N-acetyl-N-butyl]-aminopropionic acid ethyl ester) or icaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester). For those who sleep during the daytime, particularly young children, or sick or older people, insecticide treated mosquito nets afford good protection. Mosquito coils or other insecticide vaporizers may also reduce indoor biting.

** Some are taken from http://who.int


Related posts:

1. Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever;Characteristics, Treatment and Immunization of Dengue Fever

2. Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever



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