Chikungunya

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Overview

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The disease typically consists of an acute illness with fever, skin rash, and incapacitating arthralgia. The word chikungunya means, “to walk bent over” in the African dialect Makonde, and refers to the effect of the incapacitating arthralgia seen in the affected patients.1 Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is the etiological agent and a member of the Alphavirus genus in the Togaviridae family.2


Chikungunya cases occur in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Human infections in Africa have been at relatively low levels for a number of years. In December 2013, France reported 2 laboratory-confirmed autochthonous cases of in the French part of the Caribbean island of St Martin. Since then, local transmission has been confirmed in over 43 countries and territories in the American region.3 This was the first documented outbreak of CHIKV with autochthonous transmission in the Americas; therefore it is subject of big concern in our continent

Symptoms

Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms.

Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after an infected mosquito bites you.

The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.

Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

Death from chikungunya is rare.

Most patients feel better within a week. However, joint pain can be severe and disabling and may persist for months.

People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.

Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms.

Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after an infected mosquito bites you.

The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.

Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

Death from chikungunya is rare.

Causes

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It is caused by the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). A CHIKV infection causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint swelling, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

Chikungunya virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, mainly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. People are the primary host of chikungunya virus during epidemic periods.

Chikungunya virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, mainly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. People are the primary host of chikungunya virus during epidemic periods.

Risk factors

Not using bed net at daytime sleeping, presence of open water holding container, presence of larvae in water holding container, ill person with similar signs and symptoms in the family or neighbors, and not wearing full body cover clothes are risk factors for chikungunya virus outbreak.

Not using bed net at daytime sleeping, presence of open water holding container, presence of larvae in water holding container, ill person with similar signs and symptoms in the family or neighbors, and not wearing full body cover clothes are risk factors for chikungunya virus outbreak.

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Complications

Not using bed net at daytime sleeping, presence of open water holding container, presence of larvae in water holding container, ill person with similar signs and symptoms in the family or neighbors, and not wearing full body cover clothes are risk factors for chikungunya virus outbreak.Some complications of chikungunya include:


neurological imbalances


seizures


myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle


ocular disease or eye disease (uveitis, retinitis)


jaundice caused by liver damage


acute renal disease when kidneys get affected


severe bullous lesions  


neurological diseases, such as meningoencephalitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myelitis, or cranial nerve palsies

Prevention

Once the Aedes mosquito bites a person suffering from chikungunya, the chikungunya virus enters the mosquito’s system. After getting infected when the mosquito feeds on another person, the virus gets transmitted to the person.


The virus travels through his body and spreads to various glands in the body. It enters the bloodstream and causes inflammation of the blood vessels, causing them to swell and leak.

The chikungunya virus usually targets joints, muscles, skin, and less frequently, the liver, kidneys, eyes and the central nervous system.

The chikungunya virus mainly infects the muscle cells of the body. Once it infects a muscle cell, it keeps reproducing till the cell dies and then the viruses move onto a new cell.

If you contract this disease you may experience severe muscle pains, joint pains, fever and rash.